mg 'welcomes' the top-10 automaker challenge from key rivals byd and gwm haval
MG’s massive expansion is under threat from fellow Chinese automakers, BYD and GWM Haval, but here’s why it’s not phased.

Speaking at the launch of the new MG ZS electric SUV, executives told CarsGuide they are unfazed by the ambitions of their fellow Chinese rivals, BYD and GWM Haval.

MG has soared into the top 10, occupying seventh place among automakers on the Australian sales charts as of August 2022, ahead of Subaru, but behind Ford.

MG has been able to achieve this because it has largely managed to avoid whole-vehicle supply issues which are plaguing its rivals, and it has also weathered parts-related cost increases better than others.

As such, its MG3 now commands 36 per cent of the light hatch segment, and the ZS has captured 17 per cent of the small SUV marketplace. The brand looks to go from strength to strength with a solid initial shipment of its 2023 ZS EV electric car, now the cheapest new electric vehicle on sale in Australia, as well as a new product onslaught in the first half of next year with the MG5 combustion sedan and MG4 electric hatch.

But there are major threats to MG’s meteoric rise on the horizon, both of which are upstart rivals native to China, not established automakers.

On the electric front this includes BYD, which has just launched its Atto 3 small SUV, a car that is set to be followed up by an MG4- and Tesla Model 3-rivalling sedan in the coming years, while on all fronts it is facing a renewed push from GWM Haval, which is bringing in a strong commercial offering in the form of its Cannon ute, as well as new small electric vehicles expected to arrive next year under the Ora banner.

GWM Haval told CarsGuide in August last year that it predicts it will have the numbers and new products to catapult it from its current 13th position into the top 10 in the coming years.

Surprisingly though, MG Australia director of sales and marketing Giles Belcher said he is not fazed by these challengers.

“We welcome that competition,” said Mr. Belcher. “We think that anything that drives EV take up is good for the market, It’s good for buyers in Australia, and it’s good for the environment.

mg 'welcomes' the top-10 automaker challenge from key rivals byd and gwm haval

“There are sixty brands in the Australian market, and we respect all of them. Right now, we’re focused on bringing the most affordable EV we can for Australian consumers, and really sticking to our core DNA of offering the best value across each segment.”

When asked whether the brand could bolster its sales numbers by drawing on its international catalogue of commercial vehicles, like the MG Extender dual-cab and single-cab ute available in Thailand, MG Australia CEO Peter Ciao said the brand will stick to a passenger car-only strategy.

“Commercial vehicles? No, we will stick to passenger cars. Our parent, SAIC, they have another brand in Australia as part of that global strategy,” he said, referring to LDV (distributed by importer Ateco) which markets SAIC’s family of large SUVs, utes and vans.

mg 'welcomes' the top-10 automaker challenge from key rivals byd and gwm haval

MG also confirmed it would stick to its current strategy with its affordable vehicles like the MG3 light hatch and original MG ZS, which it said would continue to be sold alongside the more recent ZST, ZS EV, and incoming MG4 hatch and MG5 Sedan.

“There are no plans to discontinue the MG3,” Said Mr Belcher, he also noted that the MG5 was not part of a plan to replace the now-dated light hatch.

The new MG ZS EV arrives as part of what is described as a ‘new phase’ of MG’s brand in Australia, which will be headlined by the new model arrivals in the first half of 2023, a new dealership theme and experience, as well as the launch of a new ‘iSmart’ smartphone app and “take charge” brand slogan.

Keyword: MG 'welcomes' the top-10 automaker challenge from key rivals BYD and GWM Haval

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