MG Motor UK’s parent company, SAIC Motor, has enjoyed a record year of production, with 4.49 million vehicles sold in 2012. The company is now China’s largest car company, and the eighth largest in the world. These numbers make an interesting comparison with the 782 MGs sold in the UK during the same period.
Last year’s total of 4.49 million sales was a 12 per cent increase on SAIC’s 2011 figures. And fundamental to the headline figure is a strong success story for SMTC UK – SAIC’s European Technical Centre based in Birmingham. SMTC design work underpins Roewe and MG, the two marques combined accounting for 200,000 sales in 2012. This was a healthy a 23 per cent increase over 2011.
Shanghai General Motors, SAIC’s joint venture with GM, had a 13.8 per cent growth and sold 1.39 million cars, and Shanghai Volkswagen recorded a a 12 per cent increase to 1.28 million cars sold. On top of this, the SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture grew by 12 per cent to 1.458 million vehicles.
In China since start-up just six years ago, the Roewe 750, 550, 350 and W5 models have been launched, and the MG7, MG6 and MG3 (above) were introduced. Currently, only the MG6 is sold in the UK, but the MG3 is set to join the British market line-up this year, with the Focus rival, MG5, joining in 2014.
The first second generation MG Roewe was launched in 2012 in the form of the GM Epsilon II (Buick Lacrosse, Saab 9-5)-based 950 (below), and the MG5 – both of which were launched in 2012.