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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 4th August 2019, 21:08   #196
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

It's like those smaller, plasticky Chevrolets from China that once came to India to replace German Opels and as per the GM strategy the brand Chevrolet was more popular and acceptable to we Indians. GM exited India with the Chevrolet brand due to the business becoming unviable.

Off Topic: Opels did not survive as the spares cost a bomb and were not readily available. Their service and sales centres were not as welcoming and customer friendly as compared to the Japanese and Korean car makers. Around 2003, a relative went to replace the broken ORVM of an Opel Astra and was told that the cost is Rs 4500=00. He had to replace it as there was no alternative.

Not sure how after the initial euphoria, MG will pull on in our market in the coming years. MG for that matter is even making mini buses in China and has given a good 180 degrees toss to the iconic brand, once so well nurtured by the British motoring icon Sir William Morris later known as Lord Nuffield.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 4th August 2019 at 21:11.
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Old 4th August 2019, 21:09   #197
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

I voted yes, because when they showcase MG's history, the current owners, the current car, its design, nothing aligns with M.G., the British sports car company.

Volvo and Land Rover are exceptions when the ownership changed, because the core team is still there and the new owners didn't fiddle with them much.

Had the car been the MG3, MG ZS or the MG GS, my vote might have been different, because they claim to have designed and engineered them in their design centre in Longbridge, Birmingham.

The Hector started its life as a Baoujun, then Wuling, then as a Columbian Chevrolet and now as the MG Hector.

I do feel sad for people who think they are buying a British car.

Also, I have nothing against Chinese cars, I own a Sail sedan, am quite happy with it. But, I knew about its SAIC origins before I bought it. That's not the case with many Hector owners.
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Old 4th August 2019, 22:23   #198
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

I voted NO. TATA's got Jaguar and Land Rover, M&M - Ssangyong, Renault/Nissan/Datsun, VW owns 10+ brands, few examples. If product is good then it doesn't matter whether it is a chinese or american. I believe what matters is providing a good after sales service with a top notch product. VW & Skoda can be taken as example here(service part).

I'd say Toyota is fooling us Indians by selling rebadged Baleno. When I spoke to Toyota SA about this he said engine has been refined as per toyota standards along with few other things. I would urge seniors here to clarify if it is so. One of Nexa SA told me Maruti will be launching rebadged Altis by year end, I doubt that but anything is possible.
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Old 4th August 2019, 22:30   #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
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!
I think it's a good stretch of imagination in assuming or anticipating all of this. Perhaps a future Hector will support the use cases you mentioned but I believe that it's a few years away. It's not about moving from 4g to 5g, it's about building intelligent and connected devices to use 5g.

Also, it's difficult to assume it's 5g ready because only a couple of telcos have commercially launched 5g so far and who knows what spectrums we will use.

The Chinese doing well is definitely commendable and I am all for a technologically advanced product at a value for money price. Huawei though, I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole. Not talking about their phones here, but their networks.

I couldn't help but cross post this picture from the MG India EZS thread
Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?-ezs13.jpg


Do I like the EZS? Yes, so much so that I watched quite a few detailed reviews. I think it's fantastic value for money, and will be a very good buy. If I had the money, I'd have bought it when it comes to India.

That said, do I have a problem with the cushions because of their symbolism? Yes

Last edited by ampere : 6th August 2019 at 06:21. Reason: back to back posts merged; image resized
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Old 5th August 2019, 08:55   #200
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Indians have accepted so many Chinese brands. In fact Chinese brands sell more mobiles than Indian, Japanese, Korean, American or European brands put together. The issue for most Indians is not whether Chinese or British, but high quality at an honest price point. Yes, there are a lot of Chinese products which are good and some worse than imagined. Difficult to guess by name or looks (stories of clones) which are good or bad, unless tried.

Not disclosing something critical officially, or riding on some other brand or product characteristsics often raises suspicion about the quality, reliability and intent of the sellers.

Is SIAC so scared that their cars won't sell if they openly advertise that Hector is based on Baojun?
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Old 5th August 2019, 10:48   #201
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalnirvana View Post
I think it's a good stretch of imagination in assuming or anticipating all of this. Perhaps a future Hector will support the use cases you mentioned but I believe that it's a few years away. It's not about moving from 4g to 5g, it's about building intelligent and connected devices to use 5g.
It is 5G ready, so that means that it has the required hardware within to send and receive 5G cellular data. If I were a betting man, I'd say that SAIC have already put in components to harvest all that 5G bandwidth and low latency. But yes, it's just a bet.

One must also keep in mind that a consortium of Chinese Automotive OEMs have met with Qualcomm late last year and have begun exploring Cellular Vehicle-to-everything communications (C-V2X) - https://www.tu-auto.com/c-v2xs-momen...r-development/

Quote:
Also, it's difficult to assume it's 5g ready because only a couple of telcos have commercially launched 5g so far and who knows what spectrums we will use.
We shouldn't conflate 5G tech readiness with actual 5G telecom rollout.

Quote:
The Chinese doing well is definitely commendable and I am all for a technologically advanced product at a value for money price. Huawei though, I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole. Not talking about their phones here, but their networks.
I don't know enough to write off the Chinese telecom networking gear OEMs. What I do know is that Ericsson (Swedish), Nokia (Finnish), ZTE & Huawei (Chinese) have cornered 2/3rds of manufacturing in this space. I find it hard to believe that ZTE and Huawei are heavyweights here purely on the basis of low cost. And Huawei has more market share than the Swedish and the Finnish companies' market shares combined. They wouldn't get there on price alone. (Reference: https://www.washingtonpost.com/techn...=.40ab9f0bd7fa)
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Old 5th August 2019, 12:33   #202
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

I'm not the one conflating 5g readiness (ie having a radio capable of receiving / sending 5g frequency signals), with 5g use cases here. I'd bet good money too that the current avatar of the Hector does not have the intelligent vehicle features that are needed to support the 3 use cases you'd listed. The Venue is streets ahead in terms of the "connected car" feature list and that too is nowhere near the use cases we're debating on. Currently, these vehicles provide rudimentary user remote control and mainly telemetry data processing. That MG are getting success using the Internet Inside logo speaks of their branding prowess rather than technical, but again that's just my view and I'm not bashing them for it. If they are able to sell the car using jargon, good for them.

Why do I say so, or am willing to bet? Because the tech is not there yet for everyone. Case in point Tesla, who are actually a software company, and are probably the only manufacturer right now who are close to delivering those capabilities - recently got all their autopilot source code stolen *cough - apparently he put it in his private icloud for backup - cough* by their ex employee, who coincidentally is now employed by a Chinese OEM. This level of technology needs R&D which means expenses and time, so competitors are desperate to catch up. No other company is close to delivering true IoT or M2M readiness, and I doubt MG has the engineering capability to leapfrog giant software companies here.

Also regarding Huawei and such, being someone who is in the domain, I personally feel they are a severe threat to national security and am glad most European and US governments have moved away from them as vendors. There are exceptions like The Netherlands' largest telco who are using ZTE for their OSS transformation because simply put no one else can compete with these companies on cost. I don't want my government spying on me and I certainly don't want any other government doing the same. The market share story doesn't show that the Chinese government leans on its vassal countries (most of Africa for example, as well as central Asia, some regions of South and East Asia as well) to use their products and manufacturers.

Anyway this was my last post on the 5g or Internet Inside thing because we're going off topic for this thread.

Last edited by digitalnirvana : 5th August 2019 at 12:40.
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Old 5th August 2019, 16:47   #203
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

A Yes voter here, This is Smoke and mirrors. Feel free to counter as it can only enhance our combined knowledge of the said topic.

I have a problem with SAIC. They sold us a bunch of cars with a Bowtie when they clearly were bland Chinese cars. Their ally Chevrolet is known for this kind of exercise and every single Chevrolet sold in our country in the recent past was a rebadged Korean \ Chinese \ Japanese vehicle. So they were able to start the show with minimal investment and yet shut shop due to incompetence and let their customers suffer.

SAIC is now trying once again with a British brand painted over a Chinese car, which is also sold as Chevrolet, Roewe, Wuling etc etc in some markets. Its perfectly understandable that someone like me is skeptical about this exercise.

My uncle asked me about it, being completely oblivious to its Chinese origins - so the common man knows no SAIC, its a British brand famous outside India and has been in business since 1917, in his childhood my uncle has seen their sports cars though rarely - That is the impression my uncle has about MG.

I do give them credit for one thing, this is an important car for our market, it will now make other more established OEMs provide more features for a competitive price.
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Old 5th August 2019, 20:15   #204
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

I was not aware, till i read this thread, that the Chevrolet cars sold here has an Asian origin and not American. Now I have experience only with the Cruze (is this one also falling under the same bracket?), and feel it is a beast indeed, and the feeling intensifies especially when you floor it. So even if the true origin might not be American, I don't feel whatever opinion I have of the car diminish in my eyes.

So the same argument can be extended to this question as well. If the Hector is a solid, well-rounded, robust car, then it shouldn't be held against the owners that they are using pedigree not earned by them. Its just marketing. But, if the car itself is not up to the mark, then the sales will reflect that in the long run, and if I am an owner, I will definitely blame the owners.

Now, anyone spending that much amount of money is sure to consider several options and then come to the conclusion that this car is a fit for them. Are they being cheated with the MG pedigree, how can it be? Hardcore fans of MG will know the history and would've certainly researched well enough to know all details about the car, including its non-British origins. If they want to proceed in spite of this, I don't know how this can be held against the company. The company is actually mentioning in their web-site time-line (year 2007) that SIAC has taken over the brand. https://www.mgmotor.co.in/brand/history. If someone is feeling that they are getting fooled by this, then isn't that the case with any product (like any FMCG) available on the market?
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Old 6th August 2019, 00:27   #205
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Quote:
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?"

Had voted NO when the thread was just 2 pages but commenting when it's 12 pages in! Is it unethical? Yes, but then there's hardly anything ethical in marketing and advertising.

Are they fooling people? I don't believe that people buy car (atleast, in this price segment) based on brand history/heritage, else Ford would've sold like hot cakes in India. 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.

Yes, its absolutely SAIC's problem that Indians hate Chinese goods. As GTO mentioned -

So if SAIC had launched the Baojun 530 or Wuling Almaz in India, people wouldn't have stepped foot into their showrooms, no matter how competent the product itself might have been. By launching it under MG and harping about the British heritage, SAIC has carefully distanced the Chinese tag from the car, thereby giving the Hector a chance to prove itself as a product to prospective buyers.

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. Please don't take the shortcut by saying it's not your problem, since you seem to have lot of problem with SAIC's solution
I do know Hector owners who have bought the thing based solely on heritage. Had a lengthy discussion with a gentleman who bought the Jeep Compass and who was explaining to me as to how most of his colleagues and friends thought the car was British. Additionally, my dad, who takes great interest in most cars (although not an enthusiast) was also under the impression that MG-SAIC is more like VOLVO-Geely when it obviously isn't. I would call this misleading.

Why not just do away with the history and "since 1924" stuff atleast. this seems to be a more rational solution. Many on this thread who have voted NO believe that most Indians don't know anything about MG. If that's the case, stop misleading them by educating them about its heritage and then saying your cars also belong to the same lineage.

I think this is what SAIC should do. Whether it is correct or not is now upto the reader much like the opening post of this thread was.

Just to clear the air, I am not an anti-chinese hardcore patriot who loves to bash them. I take great interest in electronics and I am willing to bet most of the things lying on my desk if not all are made in China. I have been accused of promoting rival companies on Facebook for this thread of mine although I have tried to take it with a pinch of salt, but what has really offended me is the fact that we bhpians are taking jibes at each other when it comes to this topic, tagging a group of people or individuals as someone who got offended by the brand's "chinese origins" or pointing out that the thread might have been opened for satisftying my "prejudice against Chinese products". I have already mentioned it very clearly in the opening post, and if that doesn't send across a message that this thread is about marketing practices and not engineering superiority or inferiority in any sense, then we are no better than fools who argue pointlessly on FB car owner groups and act like fanboys.

That's all I will say. I thought that the point raised by FrodoOfTheShire was quite valid and thus replied to it.

Peace

Last edited by vishy76 : 6th August 2019 at 00:28.
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Old 6th August 2019, 09:20   #206
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Let's take a hypothetical situation and roll back time. It's 2016, and suppose you got the highest chair there, and have to steer SAIC's future in India as Company head. Your lead product is The Baojun 530. How would you crack your strategy? Think of all the negatives we discussed that would crash this launch and then propose a plan. How would you do things differently? Anybody who voted 'yes' can pitch in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vishy76 View Post
Why not just do away with the history and "since 1924" stuff atleast. this seems to be a more rational solution.

origins" or pointing out that the thread might have been opened for
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Old 6th August 2019, 10:07   #207
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

I don't think being chinese is such a huge issue. If indians had such a huge beef with china, then micromax would have been the biggest mobile brand in india instead of mi or huawei.

Now being a new brand could be an issue. Wasnt it the same for Hyundai when they first launched their cars here? How did they overcome it? May be instead of piggybacking on an iconic brand, and claiming about false heritage, why not SAIC ask public to value their car based on its merits?
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Old 6th August 2019, 10:54   #208
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Prospective customers often attach common traits of people, culture, priorities that they see in a specific country with the brands emanating from it. Sometimes also biases based on other products of similar lines. The perceptions build around these when there is no past experience. Over time, the perception evolves based on actual experience using the brand.

Based on my experience of using or deploying Chinese developed electronics including telecom network equipment, domestic wi-fi routers, mobiles and smart TVs, I can say that although innovative, sometimes copies of others and low cost, Chinese heavily compromised security capabilities.

It does not necessarily mean that the above experience will also apply in the automobile sector, however, I still believe there is still a strong possibility that MG/SAIC's priorities are around more features and lower cost over reliability, safety and network security.

I have been a volunteer developing Internet and making it secure since 1992, and all I can say that there are so many ways to block someone's net access (Denial of Service attack) or even hack into Internet connected devices.

*Internet connected cars are vulnerable to attacks and hacking.* There are lot of cases reported, Google it!

I personally do not like to trust anything that can risk anyone's life (and finances) when my car is connected to the Internet when someone else can take control without my permission or make it misbehave, leaving aside privacy issues. Based on the Hector feature list from its brochure, I have no doubt that Hector's 'Internet module' would allow not just read-only but also write access onto the Hector's CAN Bus or whatever bus/technology/standard they are using.

Nowhere MG/SAIC wrote about its security features. Nor Kia.

Last edited by Pulse500 : 6th August 2019 at 11:22. Reason: setting perspective
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Old 6th August 2019, 17:04   #209
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Lets be safe and avoid Internet Connected Cars unless their is an absolute need,Hackers can disable ECU,ABS in a running car to cause accidents
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Old 6th August 2019, 17:21   #210
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

I voted YES.

I asked myself this question: Would so many have bought Hector if it were named SAIC and had no mention of MG?

Also, I have seen that the Chinese business model is to create poor quality for markets such as ours and some Latin American countries. The same product (this car, for instance) will have much better quality when sold in places like Europe or Australia.

I am quite confident that in a year or so, these Hectors will start developing quality issues.

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