MG success spawns European production base

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SAIC Motor predicts Europe will become its largest overseas market on the back of strong MG sales.

MG parent SAIC Motor is seeking to build a manufacturing base in Europe as part of the on-going expansion of its international business activities, the Chinese state-owned car maker has confirmed.

The plans – revealed by the general manager of SAIC’s international business department, Yu De, in an address to Chinese media on Tuesday – aim to provide the parent company of MG with a fourth production base outside of China.

The new European manufacturing base, a site for which has yet to be decided, is set to join factories in Thailand, Indonesia and India as part of a growing global production presence for SAIC Motor, which is headquartered in Shanghai.

Yu indicated that the European market is set to become SAIC’s largest overseas market, with annual sales predicted to exceed 200,000 cars in the longer term.

Much of SAIC’s sales growth in Europe is being generated by the company’s MG brand, which it purchased from Nanjing Automobile in 2007, with models such as the MG 4, MG ZS and MG HS.

During the first half of 2023, SAIC achieved overseas sales of 530,000, representing a 40% increase year on year.

This comes after a record 1,100,000 overseas sales in 2022, in which SAIC Motor sold 5.3 million cars globally.

SAIC brands include MG, Maxus, Roewe, Rising Auto and the newly established IM Auto – the last of which co-operates closely with WAE (formerly Williams Advanced Engineering) on the development of new electric-powered models, including the IM L7 and LS7.

It also operates the Boajun and Wuling brands in partnership with Wuling and General Motors.

Additionally, SAIC operates joint-venture production and sales activities with General Motors (for the Cadillac, Chevrolet and Buick brands) as well as the Volkswagen Group (for the Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen brands) in China.

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