The Longbridge-based car-maker has identified 30 ‘hot spots’ which it is keen to fill as it expands its dealer network. MG is aiming to recruit 30 new dealers across the UK as it seeks to build on a year of sales success in 2014.
The move comes on the back of a successful year for MG in 2014, which saw it lay claim to being the fastest-growing automotive brand in Britain. Its sales increased by 361 per cent from just 513 cars in 2013 to 2,326 in 2014 – a year which saw UK car sales return to pre-recession levels.
Overall the UK market grew by 9.3 per cent over the previous year, with MG seeing its sales increase by 38 times that figure. A total of 2,476,435 new cars were registered in the UK in 2014 – the most in a calendar year since 2004. The 2014 figure was the fourth-largest yet, with only 2002, 2003 and 2004 seeing more cars registered.
MG’s dealer ‘hit-list’ has been drawn-up by the firm’s franchise development team, which has identified locations where it feels dealers are needed. The car maker, which is owned by Chinese company SAIC Motor Corporation, is currently well served in terms of dealers close to home but Midland locations identified for expansion include Sutton Coldfield and Worcester.
It has also identified four parts of London (south, north, north east and south east) and the cities of Edinburgh, Southampton, Liverpool, Leeds, Derby, Swansea, Bradford, Aberdeen and Nottingham are also in MG’s sights.
Other areas being targeted are Hemel Hempstead, Lisburn, Warrington, Crawley, Stockport, Slough, Harlow, Kilmarnock, Durham, Milton Keynes, Epsom, Kirkcaldy, Huddersfield, Motherwell and the Wirral.
MG’s head of sales, Sam Burton, said: “We urgently need good quality dealers to represent MG in a number of key open points where we know demand for our cars is amazingly high, and growing on a daily basis.
“We’ve established a dealer task force here and their job is to find the right people to become MG dealers in these key towns and cities. “It’s a high priority job for us now and will offer a great opportunity for the dealers we appoint.”
MG currently has a network of 57 full sales dealerships along with ten after sales outlets but by the end of 2015 it is aiming to have more than 80 full dealerships. As part of the dealer recruitment drive it is planning to hold ‘dealer prospect days’ at its Longbridge base, where those interested in taking up a franchise will be invited to see the process by which MG cars are designed, engineered and assembled.
Prospective dealers will need to meet “certain criteria”, according to an MG spokesman and be subject to due diligence checks. Dealer expansion is key to MG’s new model plans. The car-maker is due to launch a new MG6 in a few months and next year will see the arrival of the MG GS, its first SUV.
Matthew Cheyne, head of marketing at MG, said: “The MG3 created a huge boost in interest in MG. Soon we will launch the New MG6, which is a leap forward from the outgoing car, and next year we will see an MG SUV added to the range. “So that’s going to create even more customer demand and we just have to have more dealers to meet this.”