MG Motor UK sales and marketing director Matthew Cheyne claims that the brand’s new GS SUV has the ability to “transform businesses” as he targets 20,000 sales.
The brand, which is on course to have a network of 78 franchised dealerships by the end August and hopes to have a 90-strong network by the end of the year achieved 3,152 registrations in 2015 and Cheyne believes the new product will provide a considerable boost.
Speaking of his hopes of 5,000 registrations this year, he told AM: “The GS is a very important car for us. It really does move things on a long way from the MG3 and MG6 and the product is so good that we have retailers themselves buying them.
“This is not a silver bullet, though. We are careful to appoint retailers who are not unduly distracted by other high volume brands because they need to go out and sell the MG brand and that is the case here too. If they get it out there and in front of potential customers this is a vehicle that really could transform a business.”
Cheyne revealed that MG UK had carried out face-to-face marketing activity to gather a database of 5,000 potential MG GS customers ahead of its arrival in showrooms this week.
The GS goes up against the likes of Nissan’s Qashqai, Kia’s Sportage and Ford’s Kuga with a three-tier range (Explore, Excite and Exclusive) with prices starting at £14,995, £17,495 and £19,495.
Launched with a choice of just one engine – a turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol unit, the SUV continues MG’s strategy of targeting retail customers, with around 90% of its annual registrations made outside the fleet arena, according to Cheyne.
The GS comes with a five-year 80,000-mile manufacturer warranty.
While no diesel engine is planned for the time being, the arrival of a new B-segment SUV in 2017, along with an updated MG3 hatchback mean that the brand is now looking forward with optimism.
Cheyne said: “In five years’ time, if we were at 20,000 sales, I think that would be a good place for us to be.
“We are realistic about where we are going and where we need to be, but we have to aim for growth and allow our retailers to be entrepreneurial and make the profits which the products have the potential to achieve.