Over the past year, the Australian economy has faced unprecedented challenges. After experiencing the bushfires spread across Australia and the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic, Australia’s economy dipped into recession for the first time in three decades.
19 March 2021 | MG Australia
In 2021 MG is the fasting growing car brand in Australia, with current sales propelling it into the Top Ten best-selling cars in Australia, ahead of brands like Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen
With the gradual control of the pandemic and the development of vaccines, the market is focusing on whether Australia can recover from the recession caused by the pandemic.
The automotive industry has always been a bellwether of economic recovery, and the automotive market in Australia was always a battleground among the traditional market. According to the latest stats released by FCAI for the new vehicle sales figures, Australia has sold 83,977 new vehicles in the February 2021, that’s an increase of 5.1 percent comparing to February 2020 (79,940 vehicles sold).
After 31 months of overall sales decline, Australia’s automotive market experienced a turnaround in November 2020 and has now posted four consecutive months of sales growth. Despite the recovery, overall sales were still more than 6 percent below the 5 year average for February.
As the automotive manufacturers is recovering from global pandemic, the supply chain has began to return to normal, orders are arriving in dealerships that were made months back. Therefore, nine of the top 10 brands reported YOY sales increase in February compared with 12 months ago. Volkswagen is the only one of the top 10 brands to see a YOY decline in sales, 16.7 percent down from the same period last year.
Sales across Australia’s mainland states all showed significant growth, with the exception of Victoria which saw an overall decline due to the second wave COVID-19 lockdown. Even though the Australian car market has picked up, some dealerships are still reporting that some of the top-selling models are delayed in shipment due to the shortage of semiconductor materials during the global pandemic.
There was a stellar sales performance in February sales record: MG motor has now surpassed Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen, with 3017 vehicles sold. MG sales skyrocketed by an incredible 160 percent—eight times higher than its nearest rival.
With January/February sales of 5,425 vehicles, MG has moved into the Top Ten for the first time, becoming the eight best-selling car brand in Australia.
Within its market segments the MG range has been an excellent performer.
With 1,311 units sold in February, the MG3 continues to be the top performer in the light passenger vehicle priced below $25,000.
The MG ZS/ZST also ranked among the top three in the small SUV segment under $40,000, with a total sales volume of 1302 units. The small SUV market has always being the most competitive market in the Australian automotive industry, and MG’s performance in this segment is remarkable.
The MG HS range launched the MG HS Core model at the beginning of the year, with the launch of the MG’s first PHEV Plug-in Hybrid at the beginning of March, MG HS has expanded its model range. A total of 402 units were sold in February, ranking ninth in Australia’s fastest growing mid-size SUV range.
At the same time, we reviewed the sales data of the Australian car market last year. In 2020, when the overall sales volume of the Australian automotive market was declining, MG had already shown a sudden rise, with the annual sales volume rising by 83.2 percent compared with the same period last year.
MG been a focus of recent media and consumer’s attention as it continued its solid upward trend in January & February this year, becoming the Australia’s fastest growing mainstream car brand with 160 percent YOY sales growth.
Why is MG performing so well in this highly competitive Australian market and steadily got into top 10 in the Australian automotive industry?
CEO explains key to success
In a special feature interview, CEO of MG Australia, Peter Ciao provided an in-depth analysis of the strategic deployment and business management of MG in Australia.
Q. We understand MG is an automotive brand with almost 100 years history, could you give a brief introduction of the history and evolution of the brand and its influence on the global market today?
“The MG brand was first launched in UK in 1924 by Morris Garages, an engineering company famous for its production of sports and racing cars. The name was shortened to MG which led to the development of the iconic two door convertible MGB, which remained in production for three decades. As one of the most popular UK car brands at the time, MG had become the favorite of many UK upper-class people in the last century with its unique design and first-class quality.”
After 2000, through the change of parent company, MG brand deployed the global development strategy. MG’s leading quality and cutting-edge technology have made its cars frequently winning awards and recognition around the world.
In UK, MG EZS has received the “The best value electric car in 2021” award.
The biggest online automotive trade website “Auto Trader” has named MG as Best Value Brand at Auto trader New Car Awards in 2020.
In Middle East, MG HS has won the Mecoty “Car of the Year” and “Best Sub Compact Crossover SUV” awards, these are the most closely watched events within the automotive industry.
Understanding consumers needs with a comprehensive local market strategy
Q. The Australian car market is very competitive market, with many brands fighting for market share, how did MG reach its top selling position?
Says Mr. Ciao, “MG had a long journey, and when it re-entered the Australia’s market in 2016, it was recognized at one stage as a British brand. Now it has become a truly global brand.
“In Australia, MG is focused on the needs of the local market. The word ‘Australia’ in MG Australia is particularly important to us. We understand our products, but more importantly, we understand our market and we know that success is built on the understanding of Australia.
Q. MG entered the top 10 in the Australian market in February and has been recognized by local market and trusted by consumers. Can you tell us about MG’s strategy in the Australian market?
In the Australian market, MG adheres to the localization strategy, adheres to the localization management team building, adheres to the in-depth understanding of the demand of the local consumer market, all of which is to build MG into a brand that Australian consumers can trust. Our strong sense of social responsibility has led us to introduce more models tailored to the needs of Australian consumers, providing more options for consumers with different needs.
In Australian automotive market, which has the highest entry threshold and the most intense competition environment in the world, MG relies on powerful research and development and cutting-edge technology. We have introduced a number of high-tech fashionable models with high appearance level, high performance and highly cost effective, which has been widely recognized by local consumers and steadily become one of the mainstream automotive brands in Australian market.
The entry of the MG brand into the top ten sales in the Australian automotive industry is a milestone for MG. We appreciate the market and consumers for their trust in us. We have always listened to their voices. Quality, technology and all other requirements for vehicles are the basis for our progress.”
Products: create new experience value for drivers
Q. MG’s range has received high praise from Australian motoring writers and top car review publications. What is significant about the range and what is your concept of product development?
“Product creation is a competition of research and development technologies, but more importantly, it’s about the creation of user experience. Currently, MG has a wide range of models in the Australian market, such as hatchback, compact SUV, midsize SUV, pure electric vehicle, and plug-in hybrid.
MG hopes to provide more experience value for Australian consumers with high-quality products, and it is also a responsible for MG to provide more cost-effective product choices for Australian consumers of different income classes and different needs.”
Q. MG has a very strong technical background and industry leadership in new energy vehicle production. How do hybrid and electric vehicles fit into the MG model range?
In 2021, MG is looking firmly into the future, with a focus on developing hybrid and pure electric vehicle models. The launch of our first plug-in hybrid vehicles is an important moment for MG, because we are moving towards the goal of providing customers with more choices, especially in the field of new energy.
As the best-selling light car in the Australian market (data from the Australian Federal Automobile Federation 2020), MG3 is stylish and dynamic, designed for young people, and the price is affordable. Which is favored by young consumers in Australia.
MG ZS series compact four-cylinder 1.5L hatchback, equipped with panoramic sunroof, luxury front grille, LED DRL headlights, 3D stereo and other high-end equipment, combines practicality and fashion, very cost-effective, is the best in Australia Value-for-money compact SUV (data from the Australian Federal Automobile Federation 2020)
The MG HS series of medium-sized SUVs has always been focused on providing the highest value and best features and is committed to bringing top safety technologies to family vehicles. It is built by MG with unprecedented high standards, with spacious space and superior design for family use, equipped with outstanding safety configuration MG Pilot technology, which provides unique and extensive safety and technical assistance, and 10 active driving safety configurations. Escort the safety of consumers. MG HS is also recognized by ANCAP Australia with five-star safety rating, which is deeply trusted by consumers.
In the field of electric vehicles, MG ZS EV is MG’s first pure electric SUV in the Australian market, adhering to the spirit of Electric for everyone, and providing Australian consumers with more choices for electric vehicles. Carales.com.au gave ZS EV a five-star rating, saying it “resets the standard for electric vehicles in Australia.”
In addition, the newly launched PHEV plug-in hybrid vehicle, which was just launched in March, is a model of plug-in hybrid in the medium size SUV market. It is specially built for the Australian market and provides a choice of both oil and electric power.
Trusted and reliable partner network
Four years ago, MG had only three dealers in Australia. Today, MG has network of more than 71 dealerships in Australia. Could you talk about the long-term development strategy of the company?
In the Australian market, MG maintains a high standard of dealer network development and is committed to building trust and long-term relationships to create a win-win situation with our partners. MG not only wants to be a part of the Australian automotive industry, but also an integral part of the industry.
Dealerships not only sell and repair cars, but also bring real experience with MG cars. We set the highest standards in car technology, design and car-building; We also absolutely ensure that the sales have the highest standards. We are steadily building a strong sales network and expanding our dealer network means we can be closer to all of our customers.
The Future: Technology leadership and global trust
MG is clearly changing the landscape of the Australian car market. Can you tell us a little bit about the future plans for MG?
MG Australia will build on the strength of our headquarters’ leading technology and global brands to provide consumers with a high standard of service, friendly pricing and more than the same range of selling points. MG is committed to being trusted brand for Australian consumers and is always driven by delivering an unparalleled customer experience. We want consumers to feel a sense of belonging to the MG family and they will join us in leading the exciting future of MG in Australia.