The MG Car Company - A Sign of their Times!
To mark the week that will see all UK car dealers able to re-open their showrooms, I thought I'd mark the much anticipated moment by sharing some of my MG dealership signage collection.
MG dates back to 1924 and its founder Cecil Kimber. The legendary octagonal logo we recognise today was born back in 1927.......
"Do you know what the letters MG actually stand for? The answer to that (plus a comprehensive overview of the marque's history to date) can be found on Wikipedia"
In the picture gallery below I have shared some of my MG automobilia and signage collection.
It starts with a brilliant gift received in 2019 from MG Motor UK which neatly presents the timeline of the MG logos affixed to the cars over the years.
Then there are 3 dealership signs, all of which were originally displayed in MG dealers spanning many decades.
First to my collection was the solid cast aluminium plaque. I bought it from a museum collection following its closure. I was told it was rescued from a skip back in the period when the Hull dealership was being closed down. I am not sure of its exact age, from the research I have undertaken I believe it to be pre 1940s.
Second to my join collection was the 90s/00s era illuminated MG Rover octagonal sign. Originally from a dealership in South Wales, having been removed from a roadside "totem" it had subsequently been mounted on a professionally scratchbuilt pine plinth with LED lights.
The last sign to join me was the rectangular light box. I bought this, not long after I found my second sign, from an avid collector who was downsizing. He told me it had come from a dealership in the Dover area. I had ultimately dreamed of owning this style of sign because it dates to the time of my MGA in the 1950s. "Safety Fast" was MG's strapline and reflected their racing heritage and pedigree.
I wish all UK dealers the very best of luck in the coming weeks and months. Heaven knows we have all been through so much in lockdown. Despite seismic shifts to online shopping, digitisation and online fulfilment, these dealer signs serve to remind me of the importance of brands and their role in our buying and ownership journeys.
Many car manufacturers and new car retailers are acknowledging this post pandemic "omnichannel" approach - where a new transparent blend of physical and online touch points and processes form the ultimate end to end car buying transaction.
One thing is for sure - whilst the shape, size and location of dealerships will evolve in coming years, the look and feel will remain as important as it ever did - an environment to position brands and brand values for consumers to buy into and believe.