Wale Confirms: SAIC May Sell MGs Through Vauxhall Dealers
Kevin Wale, head of GM China, confirmed what we had intimated a month ago: GM wants to give their Chinese joint venture partner SAIC access to GM’s sales network in the UK. “We have agreed in an MOU that we would discuss the potential for MG to be distributed in the UK,” said Wale to Reuters.
If the deal is signed, it would be unprecedented.
MG in a Vauxhall network would be something drastically different. SAIC’s MG would gain immediate brand cred and respectability. Also, the way the European market is structured, this won’t stay a solely UK deal for long. A car that is legal in the U.K. is legal anywhere in Europe. Opel dealers all over Europe can demand MGs, and it would be hard, if not impossible to say no. Once MG is established, SAIC, China’s largest manufacturer, can follow with more own brand product.
SAIC plans to start making MGs in the UK by the end of this year and sell them across the European Union.
In the eyes of most European automakers, this is a nightmare scenario, something they have fought to prevent for years. GM makes it happen.
SAIC must wield considerable power over GM to get such a deal. At least, Wale said no discussions have been held on sharing GM’s dealer network in North America. Which doesn’t mean that they won’t be held in the future.
Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.
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