Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Slovenia, Europe
Interview with MG’s Yang Jun Hu - from China Car Times.
With the MG-3SW ready to go on the market again (after being delayed several times) and the MGTF pricing already announced, the big news from MG is that they are planning an all new A-class segment car for production in the second half of 2009.
The interview was carried out by News Times, a Chinese publication, and was then translated by China Car Times.
News Times (NT): How has MG developed in the market place since entering the Chinese market?
Mr. Yang (YHJ): Since the MG7 series went onto the market, we have developed a large market, in the manual gearbox market we have become the best selling brand, we’re number one in that segment with 26% of the sales.
NT: What are MG’s plans and scope for product development?
YHJ: After the MG7 series was launched, we continued to work on the MGTF and the MG3SW. The MGTF was launched on the 23rd June, the MG3 SW is going to be launched later this month. MG is now in a development stage. From June 2008 onwards, we will launch 4 different models of the MG3SW, and in the second half of the year, we will launch nearly 10 different models, including a stretched (lengthed) version, manual gearbox, automatic gearbox, and the MG7 automatic versions etc.
NT: MG3 SW situated in the market yet? Would you say the domestic (Chinese) market for crossovers has officially started yet?
YHJ: The MG3SW Crossover possess several factors or elements, these could be described as a seperetion of style, power abilities, control abilities, and suitability. Previously certain crossover vehicles did not sell very well because they did not meet all of the above factors or criteria to become a best seller.
The MG3SW has become known as the car that crosses boundries ( IN系跨界车), the MG3SW has fashionable elements that you would expect in a hatchback, it also has the ability to cross boundries and has several special points, basically, it can satisfy many kinds of needs. Its engine is the same size as many mid size sedans, (1.8l), the gearbox utilizes CVT technology, and also has a sports mode. The smaller 1.4l engine can reach 75kw, which is comparable to a 1.6l engined car, the smaller 1.4 engine also has excellent power. At the same time, MG3 SW’s platform is highly stable at high speeds. Cars in the same class dont have the same sub frame structure as the MG3SW, this structure is what gives the MG3 SW its stability at high speed. On controlling the MG3 SW’s speed, the 4 disc brakes do an excellent job. Of course the MG3SW is the only car in its class that has this level of equipment.
NT: Besides taking over MG-Rovers mature models, is MG developing any new cars, and when will these be produced or enter the market?
YHJ: In the second half of 2009, MG will produce their first self developed car series, and from this point within the following three years, every year we will produce an entirely new product. This year we need to focus on our existing product line. The current line up maybe mature products, but they pave the way to creating a new line of products, such as a new 7-series, TF and the 3-series. MG may have used mature products to entire the Chinese market, but we will use these to create new products. In the second half of 2009 we will have developed a new platform, which will be used to make up for our lack of efforts in the compact car segment. We plan to establish ourselves in SAIC’s R&D group, and more importantly we need to rely on our British design and technology group for research.
NT: With regards to MG’s branding position, in the future will you continue with MG’s branding as a sports marque, do you believe the market cant support MG’s development?
YHJ: From the product side of things, of course we wish to improve, in 2009 we want to introduce a new car that is different to what we have now, but the essance of MG we will keep, for example, the excellent control and power of an MG car.
Looking back, the sports model market really is a small one, but in the future, MG will develop. First of all, we need need to carry on with 80 years of sports car history, and also we will rely on many platforms for our strategic needs in every market segment, and to grasp the most important client base, also to raise our customer loyalty, only this way can we guarantee to raise sales levels.