• Kim Nguyen
    Kim Nguyen
  • Kennth Lu
    Kennth Lu

Thanks to MG for answering some questions we threw their way. Unfortunately we didn't have room for all of the article in the next issue so here it is in full.

The MG car parc in Australia has swelled to over 150,000 vehicles. Paint & Panel asked some of the key directors about the brand.

The MG brand is an old one starting out in England back in 1924. Kim Nguyen, Sales Director at MG Motor Australia says: “The British born MG Motor, now a subsidiary of Shanghai-based SAIC Motor, is a brand that has a strong history. Since 1924, MG has been making cars people love to drive. We continue to embrace almost 100 years of classic British design and combine it with our most advanced global technology in every model we produce.

“MG’s main design studios are based in Shanghai in cooperation with the advanced MG design studio in London. The British style of MG can still be seen today in our present lineup; from the London Eye headlights all the way through to the European interior styling. At MG, we are renowned for our Motorsport DNA that is still sealed to the designs of our new vehicles such as the classic MGB to the notable Cyberster EV.””

MG had had a crack at the Australian market in 2013 with the MG6 through an independent distributor but didn’t make any headway. MG’s CEO of Australia and NZ, Peter Ciao had his work cut out for him when the company regrouped and came back down under in 2017. In less than eight years the brand that essentially came out of nowhere is now sitting comfortably in the top 10 selling manufacturers in the sales charts.

“I’m not just the CEO, I’m also the one who set up MG in Australia and New Zealand,” he says. “When I came here, it was a real challenge because some Chinese brands had tried and failed in this market, including MG. I trusted in commercial logic – build a team, a brand, a company and focus on professionalism. Provide the best value, or better value than other options.

“I can still remember my first interview in Australia. ‘Yeah, MG is relaunching in Australia to offer one more choice for the Australian customer and I will try my best to do a professional job and keep this option as a better choice for Australian customers.’

“The story is the same after seven years, I’m still focused on this. And we focus on offering the best product, best service, the best offer for the customer. MG’s most important strategy is in each segment, in each price range is to provide the best value car for customer. Our cheapest car [MG 3] is currently less than $19k drive away. No one else can do that.

Before MG came you couldn't buy a new car for twenty grand and customers had to buy second hand. But we give the customer this choice. Twenty grand, seven years’ warranty and seven years of hard work. In every segment, we follow this core strategy.and have many repeat customers. Our first-generation cars were based on good price, good product and maybe some customers didn’t know if they could trust a car from China. And now, our carpark is more than 150,000. All the data proves that MG can be trusted. We are based here but we are not like some companies that use the agency model. The agency model can save costs  but it a challenge fo rthe customer and for customer care and service and that can affect the resale value."

Parts distribution

Paint & Panel asked Kevin Roberson, national parts manager about the distribution operation. “MG Motor Australia is delivering more parts, faster and more efficiently than ever before with new world-class warehousing and distribution centres across the whole eastern seaboard. These three centres have come at a considerable expense but reiterate MG’s commitment to local customers and our dealer network.

"The three parts distribution centres provide MG customers, the dealer network and repairers with daily dispatch and therefore peace of mind for customers who need to be back on the road ASAP. The technology employed in these three centres ensure customers are able to get fast efficient delivery of parts through to dealers across Australia and NZ .

“We keep a number of parts in our local warehouse for most of our range. We have a consistent fill rate of parts supply at around 91% with weekly airfreight orders coming in from Shanghai if and when required. In the rare instances where we do not have a part available locally, there is a wait time of around two working weeks via airfreight from Shanghai and we also do regular stock sharing with New Zealand if supply at either storage facility is running low.”

Repairers might be wondering if MG has plans to set up an approved repairer network. Kenneth Lu, aftersales director said: “At this stage, we do not have solid plans to set up an approved repairer network. We are always willing to have panel shops that are interested in better understanding our product to connect with our team. We can then advise on the best way to repair vehicles to the original vehicle specifications for structural integrity and customer satisfaction.”

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