Chinese-owned British carmaker MG will make its India
foray this year. And its first product for India will be the Hector SUV. The MG
Hector launch is scheduled for June 2019.
Measuring 4,655mm in length, 1,835mm in width and
1,760mm in height, the MG Hector is larger than its rivals like the Jeep Compass
and the Tata Harrier. The monocoque-bodied Hector has the much-sought-after SUV
stance, though the large rear overhang looks a bit ungainly. And the 17-inch
diamond cut alloys are also a size too small. What grabs your attention right
away is the chrome-studded grille up front that’s flanked by high-set LED
running lights. The actual headlights sit within C-shaped brackets lower down on
the front bumper. Scuff plates at the front and rear add to the design, and a
‘floating roof’ has also been neatly incorporated.
The MG Hector interior will offer seating for five and
feature lots of soft touch materials for a premium experience. Another area
where the SUV promises much is equipment. The MG Hector’s features list will
include a 10.4-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen infotainment system, a
360-degree surround view camera, a panoramic sunroof, tyre pressure monitoring
system and power adjustable driver’s and co-driver’s seats. The Hector will also
feature class-leading connectivity technology.
MG Hector engine and gearbox options will include a
170hp, 2.0-litre diesel from Fiat with a 6-speed manual and a 143hp, 1.5-litre
turbo-petrol unit that will be available with 6-speed manual and dual-clutch
auto transmissions. The petrol-manual powertrain will also be offered with an
optional 48V mild-hybrid system.
MG will start its India operations with heavy
localisation and this will reflect in a competitive price tag.
Commuting from my hotel to our company office in Phnom Penh Cambodia, I saw this new MG 6 GT Saloon parked.
This is the first modern MG I’ve seen here, so it’s more interesting than if seen in China. It’s new, that itself being unusual as most cars are imported used (particularly from the States) and I have not seen an MG dealership yet. I didn’t see any engine markings, but this model is generally equipped with a 160hp 1.8L gas Turbo engine, good for 120mph.
Used Lexus RX model SUVs and older Toyota Camrys generally dominate the Cambodian landscape. Heavy trucks and buses are mainly Hyundais or Kias with light pick-ups dominated by the Ford Ranger/Mazda Max twins brought in new from Thailand (built and sold in-region for years, they’re similar to what we’ll see as a US Ranger in 2019), along with any manner of used Toyota and Nissan pick-ups and light trucks.
There’s a growing presence and investment in Cambodia by China. Several new Yutong Chinese buses were recently donated by the Chinese government to the city, so this MG is not necessarily surprising and may be a portent of things to come..
I am in China and was reading a new posting in “Just British”, the on-line enthusiast magazine, about the MG GS SUV undergoing cold-weather testing in Detroit when one passes me in traffic on the streets of Huizhou, China. It’s a poor shot, but you can see in the attached picture the big Octagon on the center back and there’s a matching one on the front. This MG was even the same color as the car in the article.
Unique in its grille and tail lamp treatments, with large MG Octagons center at each end, from the outside it’s an otherwise generic SUV roughly the size and shape of a Chevy Equinox/Cadillac SRX, though the scalable AWD platform it’s on is supposed to be a new development. It’s nice enough looking, in a Nissan Murano sort of way, but it is reportedly under-powered, with only a 1.5L power plant available. The article notes the UK market is looking to get a 2.0L motor, presumably the one they’re testing and what might come to the US, if that’s in the cards.
The article also goes on to say the test car was spotted on the street in Detroit undisguised and wearing manufacturer’s tags. Considering the strong partnership of MG’s parent company, Shanghai Automotive Industries Company (SAIC), with GM (they build all the GM products sold in China, as well as own MG/Rover) and that the Europe-bound GS will use a GM sourced driveline, it is not unreasonable to expect them to help test the cars here, but why? China has more than it’s share of cold weather climates and if traffic is the concern, you need only see what goes on rush hour in any major Chinese city to know that they have that covered as well. So it is from that the speculation is born that they are considering a launch of the marque in the US again with this as a first foray. It would be the first to wear the Octagon since MGB departed in 1980. And with SAIC building and distributing Buick, Chevy and Cadillac in China, GM returning the favor here has some plausibility.
Those of us hoping the first MG back on these shores would be a new sports car may be disappointed, but a second article in the same magazine, even more speculatively, sees a new MG and Opel sports car being jointly developed with Opel based on an Opel GT concept model. Opel is quoted they have no plans for production, needing scale to support European sales. China and US distribution of modern MG (dare we say B) roadster and coupe models based on the same platform could certainly afford that scale. And GM does have that Kappa platform gathering dust that had underpinned the recent Saturn Sky, Pontiac Solstice and Opel GT (as well as an RHD Vauxhall version in the UK), the rumor mill does have fuel….
The MG Car Club is delighted to confirm that the first public showing in Europe of the compact new MG3 will be at MGLive! Held at Silverstone, the home of British racing on June 15-16, 2015. MGLive! is the world’s largest celebration of everything MG, making it the perfect event to reveal the fun new hatchback to friends of the marque.
Taking style cues from the MG ZERO concept car, the MG3 is the epitome of modern British style. The new small MG will also be launched with a wide range of colours and personalisation options and a selection of these will be on public display for the first time at MG Live!
MG Car Club General Manager Julian White said: “At the MG Car Club we represent every model of MG from the very earliest to the very latest and are looking forward to welcoming MG3 into the family. MGLive! is the MG Car Club’s annual celebration of all things MG that attracts new and old friends of the marque from right across the world.
“We are truly delighted to include the European public debut of the MG3 as part of the weekend’s celebrations. In addition to the full MG display, MG3 will also play an important role in the MG Car Club display, with a line up of MG’s ranging from a 1929 18/80 to this latest model. “Guy Jones, MG’s Sales and Marketing Director, said: “The British Design and Engineering teams take pride in the fact that MG3s will soon be leaving the production line in Birmingham. MGLive! is the perfect launch pad for MG3 to ensure fans of the brand have the first chance to see the new MG.
“MG3 is a distinctive statement of British style in an affordable, small car that is fun to own and drive. It is the modern execution of the values that made the brand globally famous and the perfect addition to the range to attract both new customers and loyal fans back to the brand. There’s a great range of colour and styling options to make ordering one more fun, so why not come along and style your own personal MG3!”
As many among you already know, MG Motor UK Limited is nowadays just a subsidiary brand of a Chinese company called SAIC Motor. Only recently, the state-owned Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation finally decided to unveil the MG GTS, a crossover that looks similar to the Renault Koleos.
Its proportions, glasshouse, even some creases intended to beautify the bodywork resemble those of the Renault Koleos, which is not exactly a looker nor a commercial success for the French automaker. If you peer over those similarities, you’ll notice a few details that make the MG GTS crossover likable.
As SAIC MG highlights on its official Chinese website, the MG GTS uses the brand’s new SSA vehicle platform.
If Google Translate is not mistaken, all-wheel drive and an active rollover protection feature come as standard on the high spec model. In terms of grunt, the best the GTS can do is a 2-liter petrol-fed turbo.
Apparently, this mill coupled to the all-wheel drive system translate to an 8-second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph). MG’s 2-liter turbo powerplant is said to return 220 horsepower and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) of twist. Mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic, the powertrain isn’t too shabby by all accounts.
In the near future, a 1.5-liter turbocharged petrol will also be offered, pumping 167 horsepower and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) of torque. Slated to premiere in the first half of 2015, the MG GTS will be built and sold in China, with no confirmation whether MG SAIC will import the new model in Western European markets.
For a whole generation of drivers, the name ‘MG’ conjures images of two-seat British roadsters. They might not have worked every day and leaked like a colander when it rained, but when they worked they were a load of fun. MG might finally be returning to those days, with rumors that the now Chinese-owned company is working on another two-seat roadster.
Auto Express describes the car as a spiritual successor to the MG TF, a mid-engined sports car sold in the 1990s and 2000s that for a time out-sold the Mazda Miata in the U.K. Speaking to the British magazine, an insider confirmed that MG bosses have discussed a return to the roadster market, and intend to produce the vehicle once the brand has re-established itself under Chinese ownership.
MG has not revealed a timeframe for the model just yet, as it’s keen to develop its existing range of vehicles and put several other volume models on the market first. One of these is likely to be a compact SUV based on the CS concept unveiled in Shanghai last year. The other, badged MG5, will compete against vehicles like the Ford Focus. Whether either of those models will find their way to the U.S. is unconfirmed.
The company is also hard at work developing new powerplants for the MG range, led by a team at SAIC’s U.K. technical center.
MG will re-enter the Australian market officially next month (August). The re-born Brit brand, now wholly owned by Chinese giant, SAIC, will initially offer a single model for sale and expects to appoint dealers in all eastern state capital in the coming weeks.
The first car to go on sale Down Under is the MG 6. Available in liftback (GT) and sedan (Magnette) body styles, the MG 6 is powered by a turbocharged 1.8-litre petrol engine matched exclusively to a five-speed manual gearbox. Three equipment grades are available.
The entry-level S is priced at $22,999 (plus on-road costs), with $27,999 (plus on-road costs) buying the top of the range TSE.
MG’s newest model, the MG 3 Light segment hatch, and an as yet unnamed compact SUV model will join the MG 6 in local showrooms in 2014. An auto (dual clutch) equipped MG 6 is also on early 2014 timeline. Meantime, MG’s all-new MG 5 medium car is still on SAIC’s drawing board and is not expected to debut until 2015 at the earliest.
The new MG models are unrelated to the ill-fated re-emergence of the brand in the early 2000s. In deference to the brand’s history, however, SAIC’s MG design and engineering resources are housed at the former home of MG, Longbridge in the British Midlands.
The Australian MG importer is ground-up, all-new operation. MG Motor Australia, has purchased one of the former Rick Damelian sites on Parramatta Road in the Sydney suburb of Petersham. The new company is founded and funded by Chinese automotive interests but is a private importer distributor not connected to SAIC.
MG Motor Australia is headed by automotive enthusiast, Andrew Shaw. According to Shaw, the operation has already invested in excess of $12M in its set up. It expects to commence retail operations at its Petersham within weeks.
Also expected to be confirmed in coming weeks is MG’s first tranche of dealers.
“We’ve very close now to rubber-stamping [confirming] the first [dealers],” Shaw told motoring.com.au.
“We’re primarily looking for: New South Wales and Sydney-based; Victoria, Melbourne-based; and Queensland, Brisbane-based [dealers]…. In the next 12 months, I would see potentially no more than 20 dealers,” he said.
“We don’t want to have too many [dealers]. We want each to have enough of a patch and enough of the [retail new car] sales that we want to see happen — which are probably only going to be something in the region of 400-500 in the next six months,” he said.
Shaw believes the new MGs will attract a wide range of buyers. He says existing MG fans and aficionados will make up only a fraction of buyers. Initially, the brand will seek to appeal to buyers looking to step outside the square, he says.
“So they’re [SAIC] looking at MG as: we, we want to produce a quality product. So that’s where we need to get as many people behind the wheel, as fast as we can — so that they realise what true value there is in the car that they’re buying.
“It’s not a cheap Chinese car, but it’s a very affordable car that happens to be made by a Chinese owner — one that was designed and engineered by a team of 300-plus designers and engineers out at Longbridge; the original home of MG in the UK,” Shaw opined.
MG Motor’s UK website states the Longbridge operation is “responsible for developing the initial concepts for all new MG vehicles.
“The department also ensures that each model meets the latest in European legislation and customer requirements… Under the leadership of David Lindley, the engineers here work on all MG products for Europe, and support product development in China and other world markets.”
UK market MG 6s undergo “final assembly” at the Longbridge facility. Australian market cars are fully assembled at MG/SAIC’s production facility in Lingang, China.
Shaw says MG’s UK development team is already in regular touch with the fledgling Aussie operation.
“I interact with them on a weekly basis… So [they are interested in] nuances about the car… You want something special for Australia? What do we need? Is there anything that would be required here? [Also] Marketing promotions and ideas that they’ve had that have worked,” Shaw stated.
SAIC has built around 300,000 MGs in the last two years. The brand currently exports to over 20 markets including Latin America and the Middle East. In the UK the company sells a number of MG 6 variants including one that pays homage to the company’s entry into the British Touring car Championship.
This is the first picture of the car MG bosses hope will take on Land Rover in its own backyard.
The MG Icon was revealed at China’s biggest motoring event, the Beijing Motor Show.
Chinese-owned MG Motor UK threw out a direct challenge to heavyweight neighbours Land Rover by unveiling the Freelander-style vehicle.
The concept car was unveiled just weeks after the Mail revealed an SUV vehicle was in the pipeline at Longbridge.
The MG Icon has been created by the company’s Birmingham-based global design team, headed by British director Anthony Williams-Kenny, and has been inspired by some of MG’s most famous cars, including the MGA and MGB GT.
Although only a concept at this stage, a production version of the compact SUV is likely to form part of the next generation of vehicles produced at Longbridge.
Mr Williams-Kenny said: “The MG Icon represents our vision of a modern MG and we feel the small SUV canvas demonstrates MG’s capacity for progressive design with respect for its long heritage.
“The MG Icon highlights a global vision for MG’s design and represents a milestone for the brand, particularly this year which marks the 50th anniversary of the MG B.”
The SUV plans emerged as MG Motor UK cranks up production levels following the launch last spring of the MG6, the first all-new MG for 16 years.
The first new MG for 16 years will roll off the production line in Longbridge later.
The MG6 is the first large scale production at the Birmingham plant since the demise of Rover in 2005 with the loss of 6,000 jobs.
A five-seater model will be available to buy from May and is expected to sell for between £15,495 and £18,995.
MG is owned by the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, which is the largest car maker in China.
The MG6 has been designed in the UK but the parts are made in China ready for assembly in Longbridge.
Local MP Richard Burden said: “Today is a real milestone for Longbridge and for the automotive industry in the West Midlands.
“Longbridge has been through dark days. Nothing will bring back the days when thousands were employed on Longbridge production lines.
“But the greatest tribute we can pay to the heritage that made the name Longbridge synonymous with motor manufacturing throughout the 20th century is to build a future in the 21st century.
“Today is about that future. Longbridge is a huge site and we need to make sure that the redevelopment which is taking place beyond the MG factory itself adds real value to the potential which this area has.”
MG Rover went into administration in April 2005 with the loss of 6,000 jobs.
Three months later the company’s assets, including the equipment at the Longbridge factory, were sold to Chinese car maker Nanjing.
MG today rebranded ahead of its 2011 relaunch. The car maker, which collapsed in 2005, was snapped up by China’s biggest car maker SAIC and has been biding time while its new masters planned how to revive this famous British marque. Now the new strategy is becoming clearer.
MG is relaunching in the UK first – in summer 2011 with the arrival of the 6 hatchback and saloon. It’s a half-sized family car straddling the C- and D-segments, a bit like Skoda’s Octavia, and will be priced aggressively.
The company says the MG 6 will cost from £17,000-£20,000 when first deliveries happen in April 2011. Only petrol engines will be available at launch; the new 1.9-litre turbodiesel lands in summer 2012, coinciding with the Continental relaunch.
The MG 3 is the new supermini from China. It is due to arrive in late 2012 and at 4m long, it echoes the footprint of a traditional European mini such as the Renault Clio.
MG’s initial launch plan is for those three vehicles: a pair of 6 bodystyles and the 3 five-door supermini. But Guy Jones, sales and marketing director of MG Motor UK, told CAR that two further models were under evaluation.
‘There are two unconfirmed all-new products we’re looking at,’ he said. ‘We do have crossovers and SUVs in the plan, but we have not committed to bringing them to Europe yet.
‘Once the three launch vehicles are established and we have a volume base then we will begin to look at niche products. It would obviously be great to have a sports car wearing the MG badge again.’
MG has become a niche player in the UK since the collapse of MG Rover in 2005. It has sold no more than 374 TF roadsters per year since 2008 and the dealer network has all but dried up.
However, Jones said there were 39 showrooms in the UK and the company was busy filling 45 open points in its network. All will wear the new MG octagon, unveiled today, with its red background and simpler form.
The new MG company plans to design and engineer its new model range in the UK at the Longbridge site. Although a shadow of its former might, the Birmingham facility still has 60 acres and SAIC has invested £45m in setting up a design studio, engineering centre and preparing the mothballed factory.
The MG 6 saloon and fastback are shipped from China 80% pre-built, are trucked from Felixstowe and the final assembly happens in the Longbridge factory, where the engine and transmission are married to the body, suspension is added and final electrical systems fitted.
It’s easy to dismiss the MG revival as pie-in-the-sky. The world doesn’t need another niche player and competition is fierce with the Japanese and Koreans making life difficult for the established players.
But the new MG is a very different operator from the old MG Rover. Where that company had grand ambitions, SAIC is adopting a softly-softly approach. It only wants to build 2000 cars in its first 12 months.
The thing is, would you bet against SAIC – China’s biggest player – succeeding in the long run? The 6 we sat in today felt very modern, very together, and is bristling with kit. No, it’s not a stand-out design, but early test drives suggest it’s a good drive and the rate at which the Chinese progress industrially suggest MG could become a force to be reckoned with. It’ll take time but it’d be a brave man who bet against this succeeding in the long run.