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MG Motor targets 100 dealers by end of 2015

Reborn MG is on course to build up a sales network of more than 100 dealers by the end of 2015.

Fastback and saloon versions of the midsize MG6 family car are set to increase the brand’s current tally of 39 outlets to 60 this year and boost it to 85 with the arrival of a compact hatchback range at the end of 2012.

A third model line - thought to be the revitalised sports car firm’s first SUV, but as yet unconfirmed – should support a network of up to 115 dealers, believes MG Motor sales and marketing director Guy Jones.

“The MG6 means we start with two models, but prospective dealers need to look at the potential growth of the franchise when it has two or three different car lines in the market.

“Our policy for active recruitment means we’re talking to 23 potential dealers at the moment and my aim is to grow the network in line with our five-year product plan. These are exciting times,” said Jones at the European unveiling of the MG6 saloon at the former Rover factory in Birmingham.

Eighty per cent assembled when they are shipped from Chinese parent company SAIC, the models will be completed from next month by a 40-strong workforce capable of building 5,000 cars per year on single-shift working.

On sale in May and July respectively, the fastback and saloon are expected to achieve 2,000 registrations in the first full year and twice that number from 2012 once a 1.9-litre turbodiesel power unit joins the 1.8-litre petrol line up.

Prices of the cars are not yet fixed, but the entry fastback is expected to cost under £15,000.

Additional equipment is expected to make saloon versions up to £1,000 dearer with the top model costing just over £20,000.

“Contrary to what many people believe, MG Birmingham is capable of building 40,000 cars per year and our engineering and design facilities, plus a 60-acre site, means we have lots of room for expansion.

“This factory is part of a new global auto business – it’s being prepared for our European launch,” said Jones, who also unveiled a new corporate identity for the brand.

He said: “We’re keeping investment costs for new dealers extremely low at £20,000, most of which is accounted for by signage costs and branding.

"We want to give them the best possible chance of a return in their first two years of trading, but this should not be a problem with the arrival of additional products from year three.”

Asked about the extent of a collaboration deal with GM, SAIC’s sole partner in China, Jones said: “We are working on a new range of collaborative engines for small cars and we’re also looking at commercial collaboration such as sharing resources and support services, vehicle distribution finance and the potential of working together.

“The idea is to generate savings and it is an interesting project. But we’re not looking to sell our cars directly through Vauxhall showrooms.”

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