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MG 6 rated at 4 stars ahead of local release

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Four star crash rating for the MG 6.

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by Stephen Walker

13th August, 2013

  • Chinese owners to attempt a reintroduction of MG cars in Australia

MG cars were last sold in Australia in 2005. Sales ceased with the financial collapse of MG Rover Group Limited in the UK. Take-over talks failed to find a solution to keep the Birmingham UK based company operating. As a consequence of the manufacturer winding up, the local importer also closed its operation.

Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corporation (NAC) of China acquired the assets of the MG Rover Group Limited later in 2005 and production of the MG TF resumed in 2007. In late 2007 NAC merged, with Chinese government encouragement, with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC). This company is now known as SAIC Motor Corporation Limited (SAIC).

NAC set about a slow process of new model introductions for the UK market. The UK manufactured MG 6 hatchback was introduced in 2011, followed by the UK made MG 6 Magnette. The MG 3 super-mini has recently been released in the UK. An SUV is planned for the future. A sports car may come at a later time but it isn't a certainty as the brand struggles to rebuild in its native Britain. The UK arm of MG are not pursuing an export market outside of Europe.

Sales for the MG brand are very low in the home market of the UK. Just 129 new MGs were registered in the UK during the first six months of 2013. The overall market was up 10% in H1 2013, with a total of 1,163,623 new vehicles being registered in the UK. Obviously, MG has little impact on the British market despite a high profile British Touring Car Championship campaign.

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MG cars are also manufactured in China. And it is the Chinese who are interested in pushing ahead with sales in Australia. Although a stockpile of 6s has been positioned in Sydney (NSW) for some months the importer is moving quite slowly.

The MG 6 models have been rated with 4 stars by the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) as the brand continues preparation for an Australian release.

In announcing the crash test rating for the MG 6 this morning, ANCAP indicated the 6 will be on the local market "soon".

ANCAP added "The MG6 lacked sufficient overall points to earn the top rating. In the frontal offset test, protection from serious leg injury for the driver and front passenger was marginal. Also, the driver's airbag did not prevent the head from making contact with the rim of the steering wheel."

Because there is little reason to respect Chinese made vehicles, it should be anticipated that a cheap price is likely to be the only attraction in favour of the MG 6. However, I am of the view that Chinese brands are overpriced in Australia because importers, in my opinion, are seeking too high a profit margin. MG will need to be quite cheap if they are to succeed on the sophisticated Australian market.


E&OE.


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