Electric cars ‘made in’ China and at a demolition price: MG boosts sales in Spain

The manufacturer of British origin and Chinese capital grows in share on the back of the MG 4, an electric car of less than 21,000 euros

The European automobile sector has been warning for some time of the massive arrival of new competitors, especially Chinese, to the markets of the Old Continent. Brands with capital from that country have already landed in Spain, such as Polestar, Airways or Lynk & Co, but MG is the fastest growing in sales. This company of British origin (bought by the Chinese SAIC Motor in 2007), founded in 1924 and reintroduced to the Spanish market in 2021, already has a market share of 1.28%, with 1,769 units sold between January and February, according to the data provided by manufacturers (Anfac), dealers (Faconauto) and sellers (Ganvam).

The objective of this brand is to reach a volume of between 22,000 and 23,000 registrations in Spain this year, which would leave a share of approximately between 2% and 2.5% if the manufacturers’ estimates are met, which They aim to exceed 900,000 units delivered this year. The company is basing its success on offering models with various technologies at very affordable prices. Unlike other brands that have recently landed in Spain that only sell electric, MG is committed to combustion, plug-in hybrid or electric models and does not rule out expanding its range of technologies in the future.

In its electric offer, the company launched the MG 4 in September, a vehicle called to be a success for the brand, which has a range of up to 450 kilometers for a price of less than 21,000 euros if Plan aid is included Move III. With little time on the market, in February it managed to position itself as the third best-selling electric vehicle in Spain, with 253 acquisitions, only behind the Tesla Model Y (591 registrations) and the electric Fiat 500, of which 316 cars were delivered.

The MG 4 is not the only vehicle that the company offers at a very competitive price: its gasoline MG ZS can be obtained from 13,990 euros in its basic version. One of the keys to these low prices, indicates the company, is its limited variety of equipment and color palette, which makes it easier to manufacture in large volumes, saving costs. In addition, everything sold in Europe is assembled in Shanghai, China, a country with lower labor costs, although the design of the product sold in Europe is decided in the design center that the firm has in the United Kingdom. Another Chinese giant, CATL, is the one that provides batteries for its electric vehicles.

an unexpected success
“We have been surprised by the success we are having in Spain,” José Antonio Galve, head of product and public relations for the brand in our country, told CincoDías. Galve explains that the success of the firm in the Spanish market is being such that it is already the second most important in Europe, only behind the United Kingdom. Currently, the company only manufactures in Asia, but if it continues to grow in market share, it does not rule out producing in the future in Europe, as other Chinese manufacturers such as Chery are considering, which is studying the possibility of setting up a factory in Catalonia.

Regarding its sales model in Spain, MG is committed to a traditional distribution model (unlike other companies that have recently landed in this market, such as Polestar, which sells exclusively through the online channel), through agreements with large multi-brand dealers. like the group Marcos, Quadis and Cars.

Competition for European manufacturers
Entry barriers. At the Paris Motor Show, the CEO of Stellantis (the largest car producer in Spain in 2022), Carlos Tavares, assured that obstacles would have to be placed on the arrival of Chinese manufacturers. “There is no reason why we make it easier for the Chinese manufacturer in Europe than what we face when we enter their market. We all know that this is not symmetrical,” said Tavares. The president of Volkswagen Group Spain Distribution, Francisco Pérez Botello, pointed out last week that VW is not in favor of putting obstacles, but is in favor of asking all manufacturers for equal treatment. “Anyone who is in Europe should comply with a series of regulations, not only where they sell but also where they manufacture their product. If not, Europe is deindustrialized, ”he explained.

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