MG, now owned by Chinese auto maker SAIC, is apparently gunning for Kia and beyond. But despite their lofty ambitions, MG hasn’t made much headway in the automotive world.
Despite being on sale for a few years (and garnering some positive reviews) MG has sold less than 1,000 cars in the UK – the only European market where its cars are sold. MG’s dismal sales have been blamed on the lack of a diesel option for its mid-size MG6, which competes in a segment where a majority of the cars sold are diesel versions purchased for fleet use.
A diesel engine is now available and MG is expanding sales into Scandinavia, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Two new compact cars, a crossover and a city car will be added by 2016. The new models will all be built in England at the old MG Rover plant in Longbridge, but the brand has a long way to go if they want to catch up to the 90,000 units sold annually in China.
One analyst interviewed by Automotive News was less than optimistic about MG’s prospects
“Kia [and Hyundai] have invested a great deal in marketing, sales networks and creating this positive brand image, which I can’t see SAIC being prepared for…I really don’t see them being able to get anywhere near where Kia is now by the end of the decade.”