CARMAKER MG has confirmed its intention to expand into Thailand. The Chinese-owned manufacturer will be exhibiting at the forthcoming Bangkok International Motor Show.
The company will be displaying its Longbridge-designed and engineered MG6 models at the event and it said the show represented was important exposure to its new target audience.
The move comes as parent company SAIC’s Rayong province-based assembly plant nears completion.
The new plant, situated in Rayong’s Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate, is expected to be fully operational by June and will enable the firm to significantly expand its global operations.
The new production facility is the result of joint venture between SAIC and one of Thailand’s largest companies, the Charoen Pokphand Group. SAIC Motor- CP Co. Ltd, as the JV is known, will be responsible for the plant, which will become a manufacturing base for MG, serving both local and ASEAN (The Association of South East Asian Nations) markets.
Wu Huan, president of SAIC Motor-CP Co. Ltd, said: “The public debut of the MG6 in Thailand is the opportunity for the Thai market to see the new MG6 before it arrives on Thai roads. All nine cars on display were built locally at the production facility in Rayong province. The presence of MG in this year’s Bangkok International Motor show is a key part of MG’s 90 year anniversary celebrations in 2014.”
In the UK, MG expects sales of the MG6 GT and its Magnette variant to improve in 2014 thanks to the decrease in CO2 emissions for diesel variants (from 139g/Km to 129g/Km) making the model a viable fleet option for the first time.
It is also pushing discounted Q1 offers on the models, together with competitive leasing deal in the hope of securing new business.
Its MG3 supermini is also proving popular with more than 1,000 sales since the car’s launch in the autumn. The company is also expanding its UK dealer network to make the brand more visible to customers.
MG Motor UK has been owned by Chinese automotive giant, SAIC Motor, since 2008. SAIC is a Fortune 500 company, which, in 2013 became the first Chinese automotive manufacturer to achieve record sales of over 5.1m cars a year. Of these, 230,000 were attributed to the MG and Roewe marques worldwide.