MG, which has leapt into the top 10 brands by sales in Australia, plans to broaden its vehicle range with sports cars and more luxurious products in the coming years.
The revitalised marque, owned by China’s biggest car-maker SAIC Motor, has struck gold with its top-selling MG 3 light car and ZS small SUVs, has Australia’s second top-selling electric car with the ZS EV, and the number two plug-in hybrid with the bigger HS PHEV.
Now the company is talking a bigger game, saying its desire to shake up other vehicle segments by undercutting the incumbents carries over to sports cars and luxury cars – albeit for now without specifying specific timelines for them.
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When discussing potential future products beyond the upgraded ZS EV due next year, MG Australia’s product director and general manager of the EV division, Danny Lenartic didn’t exactly bury the lede.
“We have this two-door sports car that we’ve been teasing, which we know is coming, that will be in right-hand [drive] guise at some point. I can’t talk to when, but I know that’s coming,” he said.
This sports car, which aligns the new MG brand with its British forebear that was synonymous for roadsters like the MGB instead of cheap SUVs, was previewed in April this year by the Cyberster concept.
While not even remotely production-ready, the concept offers up supercar styling, an electric drivetrain, a 0-100km/h capability of 3.0 seconds, and a 800km range. Talk about a stretch target.
Mr Lenartic said cars like the (we presume) tamer production version of this – or more upmarket vehicles like the global successor to Europe’s Marvel R EV crossover – would need to be more attainable than their competitors regardless, to match the brand’s ethos.
“What does it do for brand, is the question. I feel like MG has done a great job of helping customers get into new cars over the past five years, customers moving into brand new cars that wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to do so,” Mr Lenartic opined.
“We’re really proud of that, so we’ll continue with that with our sports cars and luxury cars, if you like. Continue to offer fantastic opportunities for customers to get into cars they didn’t think they could normally get into.”
From an image and branding perspective, he added, “I think it does phenomenal things. We’ve already gone a long way to delivering on our promise. What I would hope to do is just continue that”.
Reading between those lines, MG Motor Australia will bed down with its MG 3, ZS and HS models, and then slowly expand the range with sports and premium vehicles that like its other cars undercut better-known models.
When we asked how different MG Australia showrooms might look in a few years, Mr Lenartic said: “Our network have a growth mindset… we’re very fortunate, and you talk to two, three or four years, we’ll continue to evolve. You can’t stand still in this industry”.