FACT quizzed Tom Lee, Managing Director, SAIC Motor Middle East (parent company of MG Motor), about the brand’s unstoppable upward trajectory

MG Motor has experienced a phenomenal rise culminating in the MG HS being crowned as Middle East Car of the Year 2020. What makes MG so successful both in the region and internationally?

There are a variety of reasons behind our success in the region. Firstly, our products have proved extremely popular with customers. The MG range consistently offers exceptional value for money, with sleek designs, advanced technology, high standards of quality and elevated performance, backed by a market-leading guarantee. Customers also benefit from the strength of our strategic partnerships in the region. We are proud to be working with the very best retailers in each Middle Eastern market, ranging from the GCC to Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon.

Their work, whether from a sales perspective, marketing, aftersales services or how they conduct business, has been outstanding. The unbeatable quality of service they provide, whether from a sales, marketing or aftersales perspective, ensures the very best consumer experience. All of which is supported by our regional training academy and regional distribution centre, both in Dubai. Another factor that makes us successful in this region is our brand positioning. In addition to connecting more with our millennial customers by reflecting their mindsets, we are producing adventurous and bold digital content that is shared via our social media channels.

You have previously stated your aim was to bring MG into the top 10 regional best sellers. What position does the brand currently hold and how do you aim to move into the top 10?

I’m pleased to be able to say that we have now broken into the top 10 of car manufacturers in the GCC. As you state, breaking into the top 10 was indeed one of our key targets, which we had actually set even before the pandemic, so we were delighted to be able to hit this target, despite the impact of the pandemic.

We enjoyed success across the board last year. Our market share in the region’s biggest market, Saudi Arabia, rose to 4.2% last year, off the back of an astonishing 89% increase in sales. We also made important breakthroughs in new regional markets such as Jordan and Iraq.

Currently, we are ranked eighth in the GCC for 2021, which is a huge achievement. But, our aspirations are not based on simply being in the top 10. Importantly, this growth demonstrates the increased understanding and awareness of our British heritage, and the trust placed in the brand by customers across the region.

The all-electric SUV, the MG ZS EV, is starting to roll out across the region. How is it being received, and can you tell us about MG’s future plans for eco-friendly motoring?

MG Motor’s ability to adapt swiftly to market changes has helped us to thrive. The MG ZS EV is testament to that. The ZS EV’s versatility, high standard of options, sleek design and impressive performance, all provide an optimum experience for customers. We pride ourselves on innovating as we find gaps in the market. This car is a solution for those looking for a costefficient electric car. For these reasons, we have been pleased to note the positive reception it has received from customers not just regionally, but internationally as well.

We are always looking at the approach of different regions and markets to electric cars and take this into account with our own planning. This then incorporates our own goals in relation to environmental friendliness and adherence to different countries’ laws regarding electric vehicles. MG Motor is focused on being a market leader in the sales of electric vehicles, and we are actively considering this in our regional strategy. We are planning to launch and introduce the MG HS plug-in hybrid car in the region soon. This car will be technologically advanced and will feature 5G internet connection. ✤