SAIC to Launch 1st MG Car after Marrying Nanjing Automobile

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (Group) (SAIC) is scheduled to launch SW, a model in MG 3 Series, after the Chinese Spring Festival in February.

The model will be the first new product the Chinese auto giant releases after marrying Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corp. It indicates that the MG brand will grow rapidly since the marriage began.

SW has been in the spotlight after it debut at the Guangzhou auto show in November 2007. “We will bring out 1.4- and 1.8-liter products shortly after this Spring Festival,” a MG executive showed great confidence.

MG 3 Series, priced between CNY 80,000 and CNY 120,000, will be a major force in the MG family, related people disclosed at the show. The SW is predicted to reach the ceiling of the brand’s price range and compete head-to-head with medium- and high-grade small-sized two-compartment products as well as CrossPolo by Shanghai Volkswagen.

The SW, a two-compartment car with a British heritage, will cast its eye mainly to young drivers in cities. It features individuality and urbanized SUV functions.

1.4-liter SW will be equipped with the MG N Series all- aluminum engine and import 5-speed manual gearbox, whose power will reach 76 kilowatts, the highest of its kind.

1.8-liter CVT (continuously variable transmission) SW, with a wheelbase of 2.5 meters, will be installed with German’s ZF 6- speed automatic gearbox.

Besides, MG TF sports cars, whose debut was delayed in 2007, will hit the market within this year, and more products in MG 7 Series, including automatic transmission and longer manual transmission versions, will come out.

In fact, only a MG model hit the market in 2007. The upcoming array of MG products shows that SAIC has attached great importance to the MG brand and that the brand will stand at the high end in diversified car markets, said analysts.

The MG brand will extend its sales network to the UK and Europe when expanding rapidly domestically. The number of MG 4S (spare parts, sales, after-sales service and survey) stores totaled 70 in 2007, and the number will jump to 40 this year and further to 150 in 2009, excluding upgraded stores in the brand’s secondary networks.

In overseas markets, 58 MG 4S stores have signed related agreements.

Within the upcoming five to ten years, SAIC plans to raise the production and sales of MG cars to 300,000 units and those of the Roewe brand, another independent brand under its wing, to 500,000 to 600,000 units.

The auto giant, located in the eastern metropolis Shanghai, is set to inject CNY 8.5 billion into Nanjing Automobile in the following three years.

Staff

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