MG Motor, a UK-based, Chinese-owned brand, may expand into mainland Europe with the MG GS, which was unveiled at this week’s Shanghai auto show.
The MG GS will go on sale in the UK next year and will compete in the increasingly popular compact SUV/crossover segment, which is led by the Nissan Qashqai.
MG Motor product manager Andrew Lowerson said the brand will consider expanding into other European markets after the MG GS, the brand’s first SUV, is launched.
“The SUV brings something new to the brand,” he told Automotive News Europe.
The MG GS will increase MG Motor’s range in the UK to three models alongside the MG3 subcompact hatchback and MG6 midsize model.
The MG GS will likely be sold with a diesel and a gasoline engine in Europe, the company said. The SUV will be go on sale in China shortly after the Shanghai show with a choice of 1.5-liter or 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engines. An all-wheel-drive system supplied by UK-based GKN Driveline will be offered.
MG Motor tasked Porsche Engineering to improve the SUV’s driving performance.
The MG GS will be built in China and European versions will be assembled from imported kits in the former MG Rover Group factory in Longbridge, central England, alongside the MG3 and MG6.
MG Motor did not disclose pricing for the SUV but Lowerson said “the strategy is to make it as affordable as possible.”
The company recently reduced the price of the midsize MG6 by about 3,000 pounds ($4,480) to 13,995 pounds to increase sales by attracting compact car buyers.
MG Motor sold 536 units of the MG6 last year in the UK and 1,790 units of the MG3 according to JATO Dynamics market researchers.
MG Motor is owned by China’s SAIC Motor, which inherited the brand through its 2007 merger with Nanjing Automobile. Nanjing had bought the assets of MG Rover Group, Britain's biggest domestic carmaker, which collapsed in 2005.