Octagon set to move up a gear
It has been nearly two years since the return of MG to South Africa. Up to now the company has offered the MG6 fastback and sedan models, but says the range is set to expand in the near future.
The MG3 arrives later this year and at least two new products are to join the line-up in 2014.
Production of the MG3 is set to begin shortly, and a local launch is planned for the last quarter of 2013. The new model will initially be available with a four-cylinder petrol engine, mated to a five-speed manual transmission. More models will be added to the range in due course.
Until the MG3 arrives, MGSA is focusing on its established MG6, which is available in both fastback and sedan versions. Prices start at R239 900 for the 1.8T Comfort model. Included in the price is a year of AA Roadside Assistance, a service plan pegged at three years/90 000 km and a three- year/100000 km warranty. Service intervals are 24 000 km.
MG is owned by the Chinese automotive giant SAIC (Shanghai Automobile Industry Corporation). Its South African activities are known as Mandarin Motors, and fall under Combined Motor Holdings (CMH). Mandarin Motors encompasses both Maxus, on the commercial side, and MG on the passenger side.
Since its return, MG has built a solid dealer network, and currently has 15 outlets spread across South Africa. East London, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Umhlanga, Nelspruit, Rustenburg, Kimberley, Upington and Cape Town all already host MG dealers, and there are plans in place to further expand the network.
Craig Lanham-Love has been appointed as chief operating officer of Mandarin Motors, with Derrick Bishop taking charge as general manager. Lanham-Love comes with a wealth of experience in the importation and distribution business, primarily in the leisure industry incorporating Husqvarna, Sea-doo, Can-am and Evinrude, all under the CMH Marine and Leisure stable. Bishop is well-known in the motor industry, having held senior management positions at Nissan South Africa for approximately 18 years. Husband and wife team Alan and Terry Horseman are executive directors of Mandarin Motors, and Lionel Hillary heads up Dealer Development.