LONDON -- MG Motor has merged its UK business with its mainland European sales operations as the Chinese-owned company continues its rapid sales expansion in the region.
MG had originally separated its longer-standing UK business, which offers both combustion engine and electric models, with that of its continental European business, which focuses on all-electric cars and was festablished in 2019.
Now both units fall under the control of long-time UK managing director, William Wang, MG said.
MG’s European sales almost doubled to 72,644 from 38,187 in the nine months to the end of September in the region, including the UK, according to figures from market researchers Dataforce.
The increase helped the brand overtake established brands such as Land Rover and Porsche.
The UK accounted for 53 percent of MG's sales, but its share is decreasing as the SAIC-owned company grows its 14 markets in mainland Europe.
MG’s UK growth put the brand at 12th largest in Britain to the end of October, ahead of established brands such as Mini, Citroen, Dacia, Fiat, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, Renault, Seat, Skoda, Tesla and Volvo.
MG predicts it will reach 50,000 sales in the UK this year. The company says that figure could have reached 65,000, but it lacked enough Chinese-built cars to sell.
The waiting time for the brand’s most popular car, the ZS small SUV, has extended up to 9 to 10 months, UK commercial director Guy Pigounakis told Automotive News Europe.
“I have been looking jealously at the number of ZS EVs going to northern European -- Norway Denmark places like that -- because their tax regime almost precludes sales of anything else,” he said. “Understandably, they have been getting the lion’s share of ZS EV production, arguably at our expense.”