ONE of the fastest-growing automotive manufacturers in Australia, MG, expects continued robust gross sales progress over the subsequent three years with an EV-compatible Corolla competitor and an all-new MG6 flagship spearheading its future mannequin plans.
Speaking to GoAuto in Sydney final week on the launch of the all-new HS mid-size SUV – a mannequin which ought to present a big increase to the model’s native gross sales – MG Motor Australia chief government officer Peter Ciao confirmed that a conventional small MG hatchback is within the pipeline, which senior MG personnel even discuss with spiritually as their “Corolla”.
Mr Ciao stated MG could have 5 core mannequin strains in an ever-expanding community of MG showrooms throughout Australia inside three years, and that they won’t simply be new SUVs which at the moment are dominating the market.
As nicely because the HS (which replaces the marginally smaller GS), the native vary consists of the ZS compact crossover – to be upgraded subsequent yr, including an all-electric variant – and the MG3 mild hatchback, which additionally receives a minor replace quickly.
A sportscar based mostly on the 2017 E-Motion coupe idea can also be within the works, whereas the Australian subsidiary is engaged on the case to deliver a mid-size utility to market – although not with the present Extender based mostly on MG/SAIC stablemate LDV’s T60.
GoAuto understands that a big SUV previewed by the 2018 X-Motion idea is excessive on the agenda as nicely.
“Will we have an entry in the Corolla class? Yes we will, in 2022,” Mr Ciao stated.
Development of this significant image-building mannequin nonetheless has a approach to go earlier than it enters one of many highest-volume segments out there.
However, MG Motor Australia advertising and product director Danny Lenartic confirmed that the corporate is making a concerted effort to evolve MG’s Chinese-built and British-engineered portfolio shifting ahead.
“We will never be known as an SUV brand, that’s not the desire for the business,” Mr Lenartic stated.
“But what we shall be recognized for – what we’ll attempt and be – is a market mover. We’ll attempt and be first and we’ve already demonstrated that with the (forthcoming) ZS EV. We’re one of the crucial reasonably priced electrical automobiles within the nation.
“There’s a plan … and the problem to us to ship as properly. You can’t do this with out cautious consideration and having at the very least a two-, three-, four-year technique that backs that up.
“Launching this dealership (Sydney City MG) was a part of that equation, having that within the nook (an EV platform, mounted on the dealership wall) was a part of that equation. So the line-up will mirror the place the market’s shifting. We hope to get it proper.
“‘Corolla’ is definitely on the agenda. An EV version of that is on the agenda. Is it a GTI killer or is it a nice EV that can be driven quietly from A to B? That’s all under evaluation.”
Mr Lenartic agreed it might simply be each these issues.
The Australian operation can also be banking on the next-generation MG6, which Mr Ciao confirmed shall be a flagship mannequin with the efficiency and styling attraction to make an influence.
The current-generation MG6 is not on the native market.
“In 2023, we will launch our all-new MG6. We will base this model on our sporting heritage, it will be a sporty car,” he stated, including that it’ll even be reasonably priced.
But it’s the manufacturing model of MG’s all-electric E-Motion 2+2 coupe that may really “shock” the general public, so to talk, Mr Ciao stated, out of “respect for this brand” – although not essentially as its halo automotive.
“Just because MG is (originally) from sports, does not mean it will just stay in sports,” stated Mr Ciao.
Mr Lenartic added: “The E-Motion excites us. That’s going through a few iterations and it’s again under evaluation. Is it our halo car or is it something else? It’s still yet to be determined.”
As for the MG Extender dual-cab ute, which is inbuilt Thailand and shares most of its DNA with the LDV T60, Mr Ciao dominated out the present mannequin coming to Australia however stated it was a phase the corporate merely needed to enter at some stage.
“For a company (SAIC) with so many brands, we just don’t want to repeat investment money,” he stated.
But Mr Ciao emphasised that if MG actually needed to develop as a model on this nation, “we will have every model” – together with a ute.
“We are researching that, how to do it,” he stated. “We will find a solution and we will cover every segment, certainly. Pick-up is the number one segment in Australia – we must do it. But how?”
MG Motor stated at its relaunch in 2016 that it was concentrating on 25,000 annual gross sales in Australia by 2025.
It has virtually tripled its gross sales in a shrinking market this yr, racking up 6740 models to the top of October in comparison with 2323 on the similar level final yr (+190%).
This is with out the HS delivering any gross sales quantity in any way.
Asked whether or not MG expects the HS to develop into the model’s gross sales chief, Mr Lenartic stated: “(The HS competes in) the most important phase, clearly, nevertheless it’s probably the most aggressive as nicely. What the MG3 has carried out for us, and the ZS has achieved for us, you’ll be able to’t ignore. The MG3, notably, has hit a candy spot for therefore many individuals, and it’s been so good to us.
“So suggesting that HS will overtake the MG3 … I feel they’ll be neck and neck. And I feel the ZS gained’t be far behind. It’ll be the trio that basically creates the expansion for us and we love all our youngsters equally!
“Right now we need to give attention to bringing the MG into SUV, and actually proudly owning the HS in that market and ensuring that we do a very good job there.
And clearly with the line-up coming for the remainder of the yr (2020) – EV product and so forth – I feel we’ve received a very good story to inform.
“We will get to a time where … the growth will taper off because we can’t keep putting dealers on. But growth for us will still be aggressive. I never put numbers on it because, going from 600 to 3000 to 9000, if I had have said that three years ago you would’ve laughed at me, but we’re almost there.”
Mr Ciao is probably much more bullish about MG’s gross sales potential on this nation.
“We will keep a very strong increase (heading into 2022), I’m very confident of this. But the number? I cannot reveal that. We’ve already discussed the number many times! Currently in Australia we’re number 20, but I think it will be a big jump.”
Mr Ciao additionally confirmed that MG’s Australian vendor community will proceed its enlargement, with the corporate concentrating on 55 retailers over the subsequent yr – up from 47 at the moment.
As it stands, MG in Australia at present ranks sixth when it comes to international reputation (excluding China) behind the UK, South America, Thailand, India and the Middle East.