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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 30th July 2019, 10:33   #181
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Interesting piece of insight about how this thread has unfolded so far - it's mostly only the ones who've voted 'No' who've written anything at all. A minuscule proportion of 'Yes' voters have written why they've voted the way they did (including yours truly).

Is it that the members of the "no" party are more vehement at the opposition? Or are the "yes" folks not bothered to explain themselves, perhaps for fear of inviting criticism?

I think it is because the latter is true. I don't think any of those who've voted "Yes" take the issue too seriously. One evaluates a car objectively, while silently scoffing at the sleight of hand that goes into branding. One shouldn't have to defend why they scoffed at the branding because that'd be making a mountain out of a molehill.

There, I've tried to make sense of an insight based on all this data that's available on this thread. I'm a data scientist! Where's my resume, it needs updating
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Old 3rd August 2019, 10:00   #182
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

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Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
I won't fall for that! It ceased to be brand "MG" for quite some time and it was revived for the second time in 1992...
Quote:
Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
The title of this thread is provocative that way, because "fooling" is a strong word for what's afoot here.

I might scoff at MG, but I wouldn't mind buying a car of theirs. End of story.
Quote:
Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
- it's mostly only the ones who've voted 'No' who've written anything at all. A minuscule proportion of 'Yes' voters have written why they've voted the way they did (including yours truly).

Is it that the members of the "no" party are more vehement at the opposition? Or are the "yes" folks not bothered to explain themselves, perhaps for fear of inviting criticism?

I think it is because the latter is true. I don't think any of those who've voted "Yes" take the issue too seriously.
Before I write further, just clarifying that this is not a personal attack on you.

As we all know, being an "armchair critic" and "keyboard warrior" is all too easy, rather than analysing the issue and presenting an alternate solution. That might explain why many YES voters haven't bothered to explain themselves. Also explains why none of them bothered to answer my question (highlighted below) :(

Also, as you've rightly mentioned, "fooling" is a very provocative word. No one likes to "believe" that they got fooled, even if they might have been. Your earlier comments mention that you are not getting fooled by this. Even my comment states the same, about the general public, in a different way. When you read the question, I guess, you may have thought - "I see what SAIC is doing here. No way I am going to be fooled by that!" When I read the question, I thought - "I see what SAIC is doing here. No way anyone is going to be fooled by that!" Yet you voted Yes and I voted No! I think the difference lies in how one understands the question - "trying to fool" (Yes) vs "have successfully fooled" (No). Which is why I feel the title of the thread is misleading and should've been about ethics.

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Originally Posted by FrodoOfTheShire View Post
I think the title of the thread should've been "Is SAIC being unethical by selling the Chinese originated Hector under British heritage MG brand?"

I don't believe people are foolish enough to plonk ₹15 - ₹20 lakh on a new entrant (let's face it, the Indian aam junta hardly knows about this "iconic British brand") without due research. So NO, they're not fooling anybody. In India, where most people would rather buy the tried and tested and trusted Maruti Suzuki or Hyundai, people would do even more research on a new brand, thereby learning the "truth". If someone has booked/bought the Hector solely on the basis of brand heritage without testing the car itself, then I would be really sceptical about their life choices.

My question to people who have strongly voted and advocated YES in this thread - How would you have handled the whole marketing if you were in SAIC's shoes? What would you have done differently so as to be ethical in marketing/promotion while still making business sense? Let's steer the discussion towards positive creativity and solutions.
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Old 3rd August 2019, 10:40   #183
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

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Originally Posted by FrodoOfTheShire View Post
Before I write further, just clarifying that this is not a personal attack on you.
No sir. If we put things in perspective, even if you were to attack me with your views, it shouldn't make me twitch a muscle. What real harm can ideas and views expressed in the digital realm do? And if I were so thin-skinned, I'd be a heart patient now at 35...

Quote:
As we all know, being an "armchair critic" and "keyboard warrior" is all too easy, rather than analysing the issue and presenting an alternate solution. That might explain why many YES voters haven't bothered to explain themselves. Also explains why none of them bothered to answer my question (highlighted below) :(
I see your point. How I see it is - to make an analogy with our national politics (I hope our mods will allow me this analogy!) - the large majority has silently cast its vote and melted away into silence twice now (2014 & 2019). The noisy ones, the nay-sayers, have tried again and again to say "how dare you vote for the non secular ones?". These are the ones who write volumes about why to not vote for the current dispensation. These are the ones who make the most noise in the media

The silent majority meanwhile simply thinks to themselves that minorityism is not secularism, despite what all the clamoring folks scream at them. Without caring to explain themselves, for fear of being branded with unsavoury adjectives, they just vote and move on.

I see an uncanny similarity of that with what's happened in the voting on this thread. (The political analogy ends here though as there are no more similarities)

Quote:
Also, as you've rightly mentioned, "fooling" is a very provocative word. ....Which is why I feel the title of the thread is misleading and should've been about ethics.
Yes, "fooling" is a very provocative term.

And in reply to your other question - what could SAIC have done better in their launch campaign? What I think is that they shouldn't have mentioned the "Since 1917" at the end of their TV ad. They could've intelligently glossed it over with a vague "carrying on a rich motoring tradition" or some such phrase. The "since 1917" is what I'm hung up on.

It's just how I won't accept that militant feminism promotes gender equality (I'm not afraid to say this either). A donkey is not a horse. SAIC is not the MG of yore. It's not a big deal, but it is still a contestable topic.

Last edited by locusjag : 3rd August 2019 at 10:49.
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Old 3rd August 2019, 10:47   #184
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

MG brand or otherwise the investments they are making and long term hat they are wearing indicates to me this company could be another Hyundai in India in the making. At some point they they will bring their hybrid and their EV products into the country. Like the Koreans and Japanese the Chinese too think 30 years ahead. I may not like their geo-politics but am happy to root for their investments and job creation in India.

Out of curiosity I went and checked this car when it was displayed at Mumbai airport. Its interiors are really good for this segment and I left thinking that a hybrid version is what I will need in 2 years time. Didnt drive it so cant comment on the car as a whole. I believe (just my intuition) this Chinese car maker will work very hard on A.S.S. Indians are astute cost conscious buyers. The success Hector has had with its bookings is an indication that MG India got the 'what you get for this price' equation right. I personally would be surprised if more than 1% of those who booked did so thinking that this was a marquee British brand. And the British (with no disrespect to them) have not been known for leading car technology or success for half a century. MG's halycon days were over by the early 1960s and by 1968 it was only a badge. In fact I am wondering why the Chinese purchased this dead brand to start with. I intend to watch this company carefully.
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Old 3rd August 2019, 11:01   #185
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
MG brand or otherwise the investments they are making and long term hat they are wearing indicates to me this company could be another Hyundai in India in the making. At some point they they will bring their hybrid and their EV products into the country......
The way I see it sir - the current MG Hector units are branded as "the internet car". But the real explosion is yet to come. In the developed nations, 5G technology is on the cusp of unleashing itself on the automotive world. Once 5G rolls out in India, MG may have a headstart. With 5G in the automotive world
* We're talking V2V communications (Vehicle to vehicle comms) - An autonomous car which is going to brake will signal its intent to all cars behind it via 5G's low latency network. Those cars can safely brake in advance.
* We're also talking V2I communications (vehicle to infrastructure comms) - A traffic light which is about to turn 'Red' will announce via 5G to all vehicles in the vicinity that they should prepare to brake in advance.
* We're also potentially talking about quicker onslaught of autonomous cars from MG, thanks to distributed computing enabled by 5G - Current autonomous cars have to be driven by onboard computers equipped with Nvidia's GPUs or equivalent chips. With 5G though, visuals from the road can be aired to a remote computer which will tell the car what to do for each situation, all thanks to 5G's incredibly low latency.

MG is the first in India to roll out an internet car in 2019. As you said, they may end up as the automotive bellwether, what with their potential capabilities to make our roads safer and their potential ability to become a major autonomous car player.

Quote:
In fact I am wondering why the Chinese purchased this dead brand to start with. I intend to watch this company carefully.
The Chinese had to have known already that they have unsavoury brand reputations...
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Old 3rd August 2019, 19:03   #186
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

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Originally Posted by swiftdiesel View Post
I wish we had this thread when Tata fooled the British public by badging the Indica as MG Rover. Case of double standards? I think so.
Both the cases are NOT the same. All MG did then was to rebadge some Tata cars as they saw fit, and this is before JLR was acquired by Tata themselves.

I won't bother to elaborate on what MG is doing with the Hector in India because there already are many replies just about that.

Just FYI, I voted no. I love the Harrier and would still prefer that but I appreciate what MG is doing and the time and money they are investing into our country deserves respect. Also, as @SmartCat said in the page just before, MG did bring some innovations into the industry and are offering as much or much more features than cars twice it's price.

After all, whether it may be Chinese or English or Finnish or whatever, in the end, it's us consumers who benefit from more competition and thus more options to choose from.

I had to reply because your comment was unnecessarily harsh, but without making much of a point.

Last edited by SaiSW : 3rd August 2019 at 19:09.
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Old 3rd August 2019, 21:06   #187
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

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Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
The way I see it sir - the current
.......
MG is the first in India to roll out an internet car in 2019. As you said, they may end up as the automotive bellwether, what with their potential capabilities to make our roads safer and their potential ability to become a major autonomous car player.
Hi, will you mind sharing how you know that the internet car from MG truly has these features built in, in its current form, and will be enabled when we move from 4G to 5G?

For all that Internet Inside marketing lingo, it could just be capturing basic vehicle telemetry data and for all I know it could be a pure play M2M aka machine to machine implementation in its simplest form using an embedded SIM - which several car makers in Europe & the USA have done years ago and which is nowhere as revolutionary as the use cases you have mentioned

I was involved in testing the M2M CDRs for a large European telco in a specific project where the car was roaming between countries. That is why I want to know if you have some information on what MG has actually built, or whether you are anticipating all of this. Please don't perceive it as a slight on MG, am genuinely curious

Also, I think this discussion is better suited to the other thread on the Hector instead of on here

Last edited by digitalnirvana : 3rd August 2019 at 21:16.
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Old 4th August 2019, 08:33   #188
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

To me, brand means a set of attributes which distinguish it from others. Every customer will have certain expectations from a particular brand.


Q: Is MG India fooling prospective customers by masquerading as a British brand?
A: My answer is yes.

In case of Toyota Glanza which is a clear case of re-badging, at least you can expect good service experience for which the brand Toyota is known. Coming to the reliability aspect of Toyota, even Maruti cars are reliable and now under Toyota service they can be much more reliable.

But in case of MG Hector, what attributes of the British brand does Hector carry with it to make itself worthy of wearing MG brand, and what is MG brand known for?

Another example, whenever Mercedes slaps an AMG brand on any of its cars, it does it by making the necessary changes to the car to make it AMG worthy. Daimler owns both AMG brand and Mercedes brand, so does it justify to slap an AMG brand on a Mercedes car without making any changes? Is it not a case of fooling if Daimler sells stock/regular Mercedes cars under AMG brand and charges premium for it? Or is it okay to sell regular Mercedes cars under AMG brand because Daimler owns both brands and can do whatever it want to do with them?


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Old 4th August 2019, 09:29   #189
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what is MG brand known for?

What IS the mg brand known for? Looking at the entire history, of course. Otherwise Maruti also one sold a kizashi.

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Old 4th August 2019, 09:48   #190
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Otherwise Maruti also one sold a kizashi.

Do you mean, "Maruti also once sold Kizashi"?


And they failed at it because there is a mismatch between Maruti brand expectations and Kizashi attributes, that is the sole reason they created and brought in Nexa branded sales channel.
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Old 4th August 2019, 10:30   #191
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Consider this - Japanese carmakers have been making their cars in the US for decades. The Toyota Camry I owned when I was in the US was made in Japan, but that was becuase it was one of those relatively rare 6-cylinder variants of the Camry. 75% of the production was in the US, which were 4-cylinder Camrys. Honda and Nissan did the same, and produced a majority of their cars in the USA. However, most buyers thought they were getting a "Japanese" car made in Japan. Most friends used ot be surprised when I would open the door of their cars and point to the manufacturing label on the sill, which had a small "Made in USA" label. In the late 90s the quality of manufacturing in the US was far behind that in Japan, with the Ameircan carmakers turning out absolute dud and unsafe cars like the Ford Explorer and the Dodge Neon.

Cut to early 2000s, Mercedes Benz introduced its GL series SUVs exclusively in the USA. Given the huge appetite for large SUVs which was almost exclusive to the US in those days, Mercedes decided to design, engineer and build these SUVs exclusively in the US. The result was the ugly unreliable first generation Mecedes GL. There was nothing German about these SUVs. These cars were plagued with all kinds of problems and were rated absolute bottom in the JD Power Reliability rankings. Again, most people thought the cars were 'German" and made in Germany. Coincidentally, we Indians have not been spared of this beast either. It was later licensed to Ssangyong and appeared as the first generation Rexton in India after 15 years. Force Motors also got access to parts of this dud platform as well if I remember right, and used them in the the Force one SUV in India.

The point I am making is, this masquerade has been going on in the Auto Industry all over the world for decades. MG is not doing anything new by taking what is essentially a Chinese platform and adapting it to India under a British brand-name. However, they have made significant investments for India - For instance, sourcing the Diesel engine and transmission and integrating it into an existing design (would have been a challenge considering the structure was never designed to house a heavy diesel engine). Also I am not sure if LHD changes were made for India or if it was already available elsewhere. So on the balance, MG has not done a "badge Engineering" job with a car from China, and a badge from the UK. (unlike what Toyota did with the Baleno/Glanza)

Last edited by 84.monsoon : 4th August 2019 at 10:54.
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Old 4th August 2019, 10:47   #192
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

When there is a take over of a company, there are 3 things that could happen.

1. The company taking over enforcers it's brand on the company being taken over

2. The company taking over uses the brand being taken over for its existing or new products


3. The company taking over leaves the brand on its own.

There is considerable amounts that are paid during taking over a brand. Many a time, the existing products may be obsolete or irrelevant, but the brand is recognizable and valuable, which is why the take over happens.

All the 3 above have happened in the auto industry. I don't see why the fuss about SIAC using MG's brand for their benefit. Isn't that one of the reasons, if not the only one, for them to take over the company?

As you may have figured out, I voted No.
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Old 4th August 2019, 18:39   #193
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

See Jay Leno's episode on a new Royal Enfield Bike being sold in the USA -
Both Royal Enfield's head of USA & Jay Leno call it British Bike, British Engineering etc. There is only a small passing mention of India, so small that you would miss it.
Any company would always prefer to call a product British instead of Indian or Chinese if they have some loophole to do so. Is Royal Enfield fooling Americans?

Last edited by carboy : 4th August 2019 at 18:41.
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Old 4th August 2019, 19:25   #194
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

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Originally Posted by digitalnirvana View Post
Hi, will you mind sharing how you know that the internet car from MG truly has these features built in, in its current form, and will be enabled when we move from 4G to 5G?

For all that Internet Inside marketing lingo, it could just be capturing basic vehicle telemetry data and for all I know it could be a pure play M2M aka machine to machine implementation in its simplest form using an embedded SIM - which several car makers in Europe & the USA have done years ago and which is nowhere as revolutionary as the use cases you have mentioned
....

Also, I think this discussion is better suited to the other thread on the Hector instead of on here
I noticed that the Hector is not only 4G equipped, but it's also 5G ready. That to me is signalling MG's intent for the future. It's due to bandwidth and latency limitations of 4G that we may only see a Hector performing basic connected car functions at the moment. When India rolls on to 5G networks, the sluice gates of possibilities may truly open. Yes, I wrote those use cases from a place of anticipation.

I had in mind the fact that China have surged ahead of USA in 5G so much so that Trump is spooked (the Huawei ban). The Chinese are coming...and how!
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Old 4th August 2019, 19:51   #195
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

My father in law has a work shop exclusively for pickups and trucks. He is very knowledgeable about 4 wheelers. He has owned many vehicles like a mahindra jeep commander, bolero invader, Micra, and currently owns an innova crysta.

He was very excited about Hector. He is not that excited about seltos, even though Kia is a bigger brand. His excitement has nothing to do with the features of the car of course. He is never going to use any of those "internet inside" stuff if he buy the car.

His excitement for Hector was only because he thinks this car is from mg, and he was telling me about when he first saw a morris minor when he was a kid. For him it will be a period moment to own a car from that company! But when I told him now mg is just a brand owned by a Chinese company he has not ever heard before, and the car is indeed a Chinese car rebadged as an mg, he was utterly flabbergasted!

That is what worries me. I know what they have done is purely legal. But that doesn't mean it is ethical. They successfully fooled my father in law to think he is buying a british car, which has an ancestry of the first car he has seen in his life. If they were able to fool him, they will be able to fool a lot of indians. Sometimes even buying the car also is an emotional decision. And mg is tapping those emotions. And of course my vote is a big yes.
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