MG Sales Data & Trends for the European & UK Automotive Market
China’s Nanjing Automobile bought most of the assets from the 2005 bankruptcy of MG Rover and planned to resurrect the MG brand in Europe. The first model to return in 2009 was the MG TF roadster, assembled in the original MG-Rover factory in Longbridge from CKD (Complete Knock Down) kits built in Nanjing, China. Unfortunately, since this was a model that had been introduced in 1995 as the MGF and updated and renamed in 2002, sales remained low and the production was suspended in 2011 after only 906 units were produced. By that time, Nanjing had merged with SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation), one of China’s largest automakers.
Later in 2011, assembly of the MG6 midsized sedan and hatchback/liftback started in Longbridge as well, for the UK market only. It was the first all-new model to be developed under the MG-brand since 1995. The MG6 was based on the Chinese Roewe 550, which itself is roughly based on the platform of the Rover 75. Despite the relatively low sales expectations of just 2.000 to 3.000 cars a year, the MG6 managed to peak at only 774 sales in 2012. After declining sharply in 2013, a new diesel engine and expansion of the dealer network helped the MG6 recover in 2014, but the model was withdrawn from the European market in 2017 with fewer than 3.000 sold in 6 years time.
SAIC MG started assembling the subcompact hatchback MG3 in Longbridge in 2013 and sales in the UK started in September of that year. This car immediately became the new MG’s best seller thanks to its good value, “European” design and sporty handling, true to its MG genes. The MG3 took the brand to the next level in the UK, as MG sales soared to over 2.300 units in the UK, three times its previous record under Chinese ownership in 2012. It continued to progress in the following years, breaking past the 3.000 sales mark for the first time in 2015 and topping 4.000 sales in 2016 and 2017.
A compact hatchback called the MG5, which has been on sale in China since 2012, had been planned for the UK market as well, but the brand has decided to give priority to the MG GS crossover in 2016. This third car in the line-up should also open the door to exports to other European markets in 2018 or 2019, with Portugal and Cyprus as the most likely markets. The brand also launched the MG ZS small crossover in Europe early 2018.
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