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View Poll Results: Is MG India fooling prospective customers by masquerading as a British brand?
Yes 453 55.11%
No 265 32.24%
Can't say (subjective) 104 12.65%
Voters: 822. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 26th July 2019, 11:08   #151
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

I have a broader question.
Heritage.
What does it mean in terms of mainstream cars?
OK, so mg is 94 years old. I get the charm of the A or the B. But for the past 40 or so years, they've been killing that off either through their deeds or in ownership or administration. So what exactly is a 25-45 year old, who may not even have been born in that time, or even been in the country where he could have seen the golden cars associating with mg?
Heck, I feel the Chinese are doing mg a favour by "tarnishing " the "heritage".
If 50 years down the line, Maruti tries to pull it's heritage card, we'll be posting pictures of the dzire and the estilo while laughing at the joke right here on this forum.

Last edited by mayankk : 26th July 2019 at 11:34.
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Old 26th July 2019, 11:11   #152
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Voted Yes.

Unfortunately, this game is being played out in literally every product segment in the marketplace today.
I wonder if all those who voted "Yes" are as conscientious while buying those other products, as they are being calling SAIC unethical?

eg. numerous "India" brand mobile phones are nothing but fully Chinese made devices with only local brand name, same for budget category toys, torchlights, LED TVs, mixer-grinders, refrigerators, speakers, ACs, coolers, plastic utensils, stationery items, shoes, name it, everything is China made with India label slapped on top.
And you'll find all famous Indian brands doing this nonsense, brands that are considered very trustworthy by our parents and even our generation (eg. Godrej, Bajaj, etc).

In my opinion, misrepresenting a product's origins by way for a different-origin brand name, or some other means like advertising etc, is wrong.
State the facts as they are, and let customers choose.

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Old 26th July 2019, 11:29   #153
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebring View Post
The examples that you quote are wrong. So many of us are bringing up the Aditya Birla brands - Van Heusen and Louis Phillippe. This example defeats your argument. These brands are not created by them. They are from UK based Coats Viyella which the Group acquired in 1999, solely for use in India, because they needed a premium aspirational GORA tag. Later they acquired the Company.
One learns something new every day so I'm taking your post in a positive spirit. Everywhere I looked on google, Louis Philippe is said to be an Indian home grown brand built in 1989. But you sound knowledgeable so I'll take your word for it.

Van Heusen by the way is not their brand and never was. It belongs to the same group who owns Izod, Calvin Klein among others. They might hold the license in India.

Anyway, I didn't bring up these brands as examples. Someone else did and I tried to explain with my own reasoning.

I think this thread has run its course and its now rehashing of the same arguments over and over again. As for me, I believe MG India will succeed or fail based on its products in the long term. And I wish them the best in that.

They have come to India as an unknown entity in SAIC and worked hard in building the "Morris Garages since 1924" brand that has strong Britishness and aspirational recall value, and it's absolutely a tremendous marketing success. That said, their branding exercise doesn't sit right with me for reasons I've explained on page 1. And I'll leave it at that.
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Old 26th July 2019, 11:31   #154
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazy View Post
Voted Yes.

Unfortunately, this game is being played out in literally every product segment in the marketplace today.
I wonder if all those who voted "Yes" are as conscientious while buying those other products, as they are being calling SAIC unethical?

eg. numerous "India" brand mobile phones are nothing but fully Chinese made devices with only local brand name, same for budget category toys, torchlights, LED TVs, mixer-grinders, refrigerators, speakers, ACs, coolers, plastic utensils, stationery items, shoes, name it, everything is China made with India label slapped on top.
And you'll find all famous Indian brands doing this nonsense, brands that are considered very trustworthy by our parents and even our generation (eg. Godrej, Bajaj, etc).

In my opinion, misrepresenting a product's origins by way for a different-origin brand name, or some other means like advertising etc, is wrong.
State the facts as they are, and let customers choose.

cheers
lazy
I understand your point and second it. However, all those products that you mentioned are " Indoor" items. Car is a different animal altogether. It's a status symbol and something to flaunt ( ) . The very reason why passions run so high in this thread is because of emotional connect one has for his automobile. On the question of other products , i am a bit concerned about the mobiles which are chinese made , considering all the ( alleged ) state sponsored data collection activities.

There , i have said it. One more reason for the distrust chinese products have in our (minds) market.

Last edited by ajmat : 26th July 2019 at 12:19.
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Old 26th July 2019, 12:12   #155
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Certainly not. The time has long gone when China was associated with cheap knockoff crap. If my beloved iPhone can be made entirely in China, why not the car I drive?

There is a fear among some, not entirely unfounded, that sharing all your data with the Chinese is a bad idea and the fact that this car comes with "internet inside" isn't reassuring. But that apart, there is no earthly rational reason why I would reject a product only because it is Chinese.

To be fair, the Chinese have done a brilliant job of positioning the Hector as nothing but a British brand. They own the brand and are entitled to do this. I was expecting a shoddy job but the marketing campaign has been simply brilliant. Landing Benedict Cumberbatch as brand ambassador was a master stroke- nobody could be more British than him!
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Old 26th July 2019, 16:05   #156
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Voted no. The onus is on the buyers to evaluate the product and brand as they see fit.

The Chinese group own the MG brand and it comes with its history and if they are not allowed to use it to their advantage, what's the purpose of buying a brand?
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Old 26th July 2019, 16:35   #157
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

On hindsight, If MG would have completely gone Chinese right from branding to Chinese actor endorsing the car to everything Chinese, Would we have lined up to buy Hector and gave MG 21000 bookings?
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Old 26th July 2019, 17:03   #158
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

In the business world, we call it: Marketing and target audience.

In a world where M&As, partnerships and tie ups happen on an every day level, the target audience plays a very important role. Infact the only other thing thats important, is Marketing.

SAIC acquired the ownership of the brand MG. Which means, they are free to do whatever they want with the brand name. They could launch an air conditioning unit with the brand. But thats counter productive because they are not a charity company. They are in the business to make money. MG is an British automotive brand and the owner company, SAIC, is head-quartered in China.

So, in my opinion, the answer is NO.

SAIC is the Owner.
MG is the Brand.
The car is the Model.

Have a look at this image and come to your conclusion. This image is from February 2018. But you get the gist.



Is Volvo a chinese brand because they are owned by Geely? Is it the same for Lotus? Or is Mini, German? Is Seat and Skoda, German? Smart is owned by Geely now. Is it Chinese?

Last edited by VaidhiR : 26th July 2019 at 17:07. Reason: Added 2 more lines.
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Old 26th July 2019, 17:41   #159
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Yes they have.
Or we can say trying to disguise a Chinese company as British.

Read some arguments comparing JLR and Volvo with MG. There is a difference, these two are just owned by business houses from India and China, there is nothing Indian or Chinese in their respective products, whereas in MG's case just the logo is British, ownership and product are both Chinese.

Engineering fineness, reliability etc. are different topics and they can be as good as any other global company, only time will tell.

Another point to ponder, what was the need for SAIC to market as MG in the first place? They themselves know what Indians think?


Reminds me of The Renault Captur's new ad is ethically wrong & deceiving! Blatantly fooling the Indian customer thread.
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Old 26th July 2019, 20:15   #160
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Lots of opinions on this thread but let me just clarify a few things:

- I DIDN'T mean to drag any politics or Chinese vs European engineering at any point in this thread. I just wanted to highlight the difference between what the Hector actually is (A well packaged rebadged Chinese car) and what SAIC is portraying it to be.

There was a minor mistake in the opening post as pointed by a few:

Quote:
- MG has no right to fool customers in such a way. I don't have anything against Chinese products and am not a hardcore patriot either (No offence to anyone who is). However, marketing this car as an SUV manufactured by a British company when it is only a good example of badge engineering seems to be ethically inappropriate to me at least.
It's SAIC not MG. I apologise and accept my mistake.

Most importantly, some people have tried to infer that I am a racist idiot who has something against Chinese goods and has thus created this thread. This thread looks more like an FB group where members target each other rather than engage in debate. Whoever has done so has either misunderstood the topic or not read the opening post:

Quote:
MG has no right to fool customers in such a way. I don't have anything against Chinese products and am not a hardcore patriot either (No offence to anyone who is). However, marketing this car as an SUV manufactured by a British company when it is only a good example of badge engineering seems to be ethically inappropriate to me at least.
It is MG's marketing ploy that gets my goat. Other factors such as the car itself, durability and long term reliability will prove themselves with time. And again, its ethics I am talking about. Practically speaking, MG would have been sued by now had this been a wrong practise.

Lastly, many have quoted irrelevant examples here.

- JLR is owned by TATA but development and designing takes place in the U.K only. Have they ever rebadged a HEXA and sold it as en entry level JLR in the U.K? The essence of the brand has remained intact as far as I can see. And that's the reason why the Brits are lapping them up.

- Same goes for Volvo. Majority of R&D takes place in Europe. The essence of the brand is still preserved and it is enjoying a strong position worldwide

Come to MG. A British company which is entirely owned by the Chinese (again nothing against Chinese engineering) but only the badge remains alive till date. Only a factory and design centre in the U.K that too for Europe specific offerings only.

I have put forth my point of view and I think that's about it. All I will say is that the MG badge shouldn't be used for a car which isn't remotely associated with it and nor should its history be flaunted. MG is a brand to be remembered, and its not me saying this, SAIC itself has said the same on the Hector's official website.

I don't think I have anything relevant to add to this thread. Those who thought that the thread was pointless should have a look at the polls. 50+% people can't be wrong completely.

Peace

Last edited by vishy76 : 26th July 2019 at 20:20.
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Old 26th July 2019, 20:17   #161
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

There is a difference between legality and ethics. Somethings can be legal but not ethical and also possible the other way round (ethical but not legal).

Ethics and brand (or brand value) are very tightly connected. A brand is statement of intent and ethics is walking, talking and standing with that intent.

What SAIC is doing here is perfectly legal absolutely no doubt about that.

Someone quoted HMD/Nokia as just licensing of the brand. That is half truth.
HMD employs most of the engineers from Nokia handset part. And I know for sure even the design language of phone itself is also governed by old Nokia design principles.
HMD manufactured phones sell as Nokia all over the world.

Now coming to what SAIC is upto, if you have not used design language or principles or other elements as relevant, should you still use a brand and claim you have used all the knowledge and finesse or whatever?

I am confident many members of this forum will remember the Chinese motor cycles that came to Indian market, that story did not end well.
I have always maintained Indian consumer has elephant's memory. The collective memory of Indian consumer is so strong that very few brands ever recover once they get branded as negative or failure.

Time will tell what happens to this "MG" story, one thing is sure, SAIC will use a different brand if they screw up the first time.
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Old 26th July 2019, 21:05   #162
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

It's sad that "auto" enthusiasts think that if my smartphone can be made in China, why not cars?

If pedigree and heritage has nothing to do with manufacturing cars, why is that being advertised?

If making cars is just as simple as assembling parts, why is that no Korean manufacturer has learned to make a good handling car inspite of so much experience?

Looks like someone learned to market heritage from someone who has it (Harley), and used those skills to create a narrative. https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...joins-bmw.html (Pallavi Singh, marketing head of MG Motors India joins BMW)

Cheers.
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Old 26th July 2019, 21:15   #163
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

I don't dispute the fact that MG is still very much a British brand despite its Chinese owners. However, Hector is not a true MG model, it's a Baojun! The catch lies there. It is a "thorough bred" Chinese. However with Volvo or JLR their products are true to the origins of the brand, not Chinese or Indian.
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Old 26th July 2019, 21:48   #164
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

I actually checked the MG website. Looked at what they list as their brand etc. As far as I can see nowhere do they mention specifically they are a British brand and they certainly do not mention where their cars are designed or produced.

I did not see any5hing on their website that says they are British and or manufacture cars in the UK. Maybe I missed it.do they have commercials out there stating it so blatently?

however, in the FAQ section I found this

Quote:
WHO OWNS MG?

SAIC Motor owns MG. They are China’s largest vehicle manufacturer. For more information on our parent company, please take a look at SAIC Motor's corporate site by visiting saicmotor.com.
It is not as if they are hiding who they are. It’s there for the world to see, unless you only stick to what you believe MG stands for. That is one’s own choosing and doing. You can not hold somebody else responsible for that.

As I said earlier, brands are about dreams, perceived value.

If we take the same logic where does Spyker (super) cars stand?

That is another example of a badge/name from the past that was bought and slapped on a completely different company. Because they believed Spijker as a brand represented certain values, association that the new owners of the brand wanted to exploit. But it has very little to do with what the original Spijker brand was about. (Other than both the old and the new Spijker company struggle financially).

The original Spijker company was heavilly into aeronautical stuff as well as automotive. So the Current super car Spijker features aeronautical design details. But the current owners have nothing to do with aviation at all. Is that cheating? Is that ethically incorrect? They are using old value of a brand/badge they bought to market their cars. Whereas their cars or the company have absolutely nothing in common with the original brand. Still, makes for an interesting car, a Spijker. Nobody seems to mind. Press was raving about the aviation design details.

I am a bit surprised to see some pretty strong condemnations. Again, believing into what a brand stands for, is a personal choice. If you feel happy thinking you bought a British design and produced product, who cares. If you feel the brand value doesnt line up with what you believe are the facts, or what is important to you, fine, do not buy it. We are adults here. Everybody's own choice to what extend you follow your heart/gut and how much facts you like to dig up.

Jeroen

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 26th July 2019 at 21:51.
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Old 26th July 2019, 23:34   #165
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

The indignation at a vehicle being sold under another brand name is incredible. In this world of make believe, this is just another sleight of hand.
It is a different biz model like the apparel company which used to mark its products ridiculously high and sell everything at an 80% discount.
GM was coolly selling Daewoo cars as the all American Chevy. If the vehicle isn't a bad one, I suppose it is fair enough.
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