It’s been the will-they-won’t-they story of the past two weeks, but the indications are that SAIC Motor Corp, which has owned the MG brand since April, 2008, and General Motors will be collaborating to sell the British-badged cars in their home market. GM and SAIC Motor have been in a long-term Joint Venture in China and have been forging closer links during the past year.
The MG6 is due to go into production at Longbridge in 2011 and will be the first full-scale assembly operation at the Birmingham plant since 2005, although representatives for MG have yet to confirm assembly numbers. However, with a new product to sell, the existing MG Dealer Network may not be large enough to handle anticipated volumes and it is hoped that access to GM’s UK Dealer Network will give the MG6 significantly more exposure. Vauxhall has already ruled out its involvement, so that leaves Chevrolet’s retail sites, which should complement MG’s growing model range perfectly.
‘We have agreed in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that we would discuss the potential for MG to be distributed in the UK,’ Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director for GM’s China operations, told the Daily Telegraph. ‘That’s what we are doing at the moment.’
Will UK’s Chevrolet range be able to support the MG range in its Dealer Network? Interestingly, when AROnline spoke to the head of one of MG’s important Pacific Rim markets, it was clear that in terms of pricing and market ambitions, the Chevrolet Cruze was considered the MG6’s strongest rival, even if the British-badged car is bigger, faster and arguably far better priced.
However, that’s the point – GM has done an excellent job in establishing Chevrolet as its budget sub-Vauxhall brand in the UK, but it needs more glamour – that’s where MG Motor’s cars might be useful for enticing customers into showrooms.
Expect to hear an official announcement in the coming weeks…