The SAIC brand MG Motor is considering building the electric compact model MG4 in the planned European plant. While there is no concrete location for the factory yet, but the decision is expected to be made in the next two or three years.
At the beginning of July, there were first reports that the Chinese car company SAIC was planning to build a plant for electric cars in Europe. New information now comes from William Wang, European head of MG Motor.
And even though it is still not clear where the factory will be built, production will be significantly more expensive than in China, Wang told Automotive News Europe.
“We need to check the energy costs, the labour costs, just everything, to find out which country is best. We need a very detailed calculation,” Wang said.
Despite the higher costs, he said it was time to ramp up local production “if you sell 200,000 cars a year”. In addition, he aims to save the import duty of ten per cent, Wang explained.
As the UK is the largest European market for MG, it is a possible location option. In addition, SAIC still owns a plant in Longbridge near Birmingham, which is currently used as MG Motor’s research and development centre. Vehicles have not come off the production line there since 2016.
But the manufacturer would also have to invest heavily there. The assembly plant was razed to the ground at the beginning of the decade to prepare the site for housing development.
As mentioned above, the MG4 electric series will be built in Europe first (when the plant is built). At the beginning of July, MG Motor announced that it would add a new top model to the range with the the MG4 XPower with 320 kW four-wheel drive.
A new variant with a larger battery for the single-engine standard model is also planned.
SAIC claims that the brand is a success in Europe. According to SAIC, 115,000 MGs were sold across Europe in the first half of 2023 – more than double the number sold in the same period last year.