MG Motors, owned by Chinese company SAIC Motor Corp., has announced impressive results for 2022, with UK sales exceeding £1 billion. The brand attributed this success to soaring demand for its electric and hybrid vehicles, leading to more than a doubling of its sales volumes. The company reported pre-tax profits of £54.2 million for 2022, a substantial increase compared to £4.3 million in the previous year.
China has been rapidly expanding its electric car industry, with state subsidies fueling the production of batteries and the emergence of several new car manufacturers. As a result, more vehicles, including those from MG, are being shipped globally from Shanghai. MG Rover, the last UK-owned volume car manufacturer, collapsed in 2005. SAIC, China’s largest carmaker, subsequently acquired a significant portion of MG Rover, with rival Nanjing Automobile Group purchasing the remainder. The two companies merged in 2007, and production of MG vehicles was shifted to Shanghai in 2016.
However, MG Motors has experienced a resurgence under its current owners and recently stated that it is in a strong position to capitalise on the growing shift towards electric cars over the next decade to fifteen years. The brand credited its UK sales success to models like the MG ZS, MG 5, and HS PHEV, with more vehicles planned for 2024. The MG ZS, one of the most affordable electric cars in the UK, was among the five most popular cars last month.
Official figures reveal that China exported more than one million vehicles worldwide during the first three months of 2023, surpassing Japan as the world’s leading car exporter. Besides the growing demand for electric cars, China’s exports have been boosted by sales to Russia due to sanctions imposed by many Western countries following the invasion of Ukraine.
Despite the delay in the ban on petrol and diesel cars, car manufacturers are still required to meet stringent quotas for electric vehicle sales as of January, with over a fifth of vehicles sold in the UK expected to be electric.
MG Motors appears to be well-positioned to benefit from the electric vehicle trend, leveraging its affordable and popular electric car models in the UK market.