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MG Motor to plug in Australia

Sparks fly: The eZS is likely to be MG Motor Australia’s first all-electric model, although an official launch date is yet to be pencilled in.

Sales explosion sets off MG Motor’s plans for electrified models for Australia

14 Aug 2019

BUOYED by a meteoric sales increase, MG Motor Australia has outlined its next step into all-electric and hybrid vehicles and is now evaluating models from parent SAIC Motor.


MG’s sales are up 253.0 per cent to the end of July, to 4420 units, outselling Skoda, Volvo, Jeep and sister brand LDV. It sold 702 units last month, up 149.8 per cent over the corresponding period in 2018.


Now MG Motor Australia is in the midst of planning its next steps with the HS – which replaces the existing GS mid-size SUV – due here in the first quarter of next year before embarking on electrification.


Potentially following the HS is a replacement for the MG6 – a Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla rival that spent two years on the Australian market before being pulled due to poor sales – which is now available in eMG6 plug-in hybrid form.


MG Motor Australia sales and network director Scott McIntyre told GoAuto that the internal-combustion-engined MG6 will not return to the Australian market, with an all-electric or plug-in hybrid version to be the successor.


“It’s now under evaluation and that’s where we are at the moment,” he said. “We are looking at the market for both the EV and hybrid version to gauge demand.”


MG sister brand Roewe’s all-wheel-drive large SUV, the all-electric Marvel X, is not being considered for Australia as it is yet to be made in right-hand drive.


“At the moment, we are not looking at the Roewe Marvel X for this region,” Mr McIntyre said. “But should the product be able to meet the standards that Australian consumers expect, then it would be under consideration. It would be an exciting car for us.”


At the international reveal of MG products in Shanghai in April this year, SAIC representatives said technical development for MG and Roewe was similar.


It also indicated the possibility of exporting Roewe’s EV drivetrain within an MG product, suggesting that the Marvel X could wear the famous British brand’s badge to create its first large SUV model.


The ‘badge engineering’ will not be used in Australia, though, with the MG Extender ute, which is also a product of another SAIC company, LDV. The new model, to be built in right-hand drive in Thailand, is heavily based on the T60 ute currently sold Down Under.


MG Motor Australia marketing director Danny Lenartic said that “coupled with the proliferation of new energy products and the opportunities they bring, (EVs) will culminate in a portfolio that talks to every demographic”.


“This includes the young, who may look at an MG3, through to the environmentally-conscious owner who today could be buying one of our frugal cars and continue to one we will be releasing, which is the eZS that has received complimentary reviews in the UK about quality and price,” he said.


“We are having conversations daily about bringing in the eZS. It’s a new generation and we don’t want to rush into it – not just for us but for the customer.


“We’d like to showcase what SAIC has to offer, such as the EV buses that SAIC built for the Olympics in 2000 when the Chinese government wanted to reduce emissions.


“These buses are still driving around today. We already understand a lot about new-energy vehicles and we’re looking forward to it coming to fruition.”

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