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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 25th July 2019, 01:50   #31
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

I have a feeling that a lot of BHPians are not understanding the actual reason for all this hatred that is being shown towards MG India. It is not about its chinese origin or badge engineering but it is about the fact that MG India is cheating us by selling us a chinese car while maliciously making us believe that it is british. Think of it, why didn't SAIC have the guts to launch the car under the other brand names like Baojun/Wuling ? Because one google search and "chinese" "chinese" "chinese" would have appeared everywhere. The truth is that MG India has tried to hide its current chinese origin by using the old brand name; MG.

I don't understand why people have brought Apple, Volvo/VW etc into this discussion. None of these companies are selling you their product by faking its identity. The iphone is produced in China but Apple is not sticking its logo on some chinese phone and selling it to you by telling you that this phone is an iphone. So in this case, an iphone is still an iphone. When you are buying a Volvo, you are still getting a Volvo, the company can be owned by anyone but it is not selling you some other car by telling you that this is a Volvo.

Now think of what MG India is doing, it is selling you a Baojun/Wuling by telling you that it a MG, so in this case, the MG is 'not' actually an MG. This is the reason why a lot of members on the forum, including me are pissed off.

MG India is clearly playing dirty with us, just look at the screenshots of the website posted by another member few posts back, the MG Hector has nothing of that british heritage that they are showing on the website. The real MG died long time back.

More simple explanation ? MG Hector is just like the TVs from Kodak/Polaroid; chinese products slapped with brand names bought by them which have some recall value. If people still don't get the point, I don't know how someone will explain this to them.

Looks like everyone likes to play with us Indians, our own homegrown manufacturer with more that 50% of the market share kept playing with us for many many years by providing unsafe cars which we are happily driving around in. Now its time that this Chinese manufacturer plays with us. I have to say this though, "Sahi khel gaye, MG".

I cannot explain anything more than this and don't wish to indulge in any debate here. If something is wrong in the post please correct me, I won't mind.
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Old 25th July 2019, 01:53   #32
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalvaz View Post
I remember the same controversy arose when Lenovo took over IBM's personal computers. Many people said that Chinese will never be able to match IBM quality and that there would be security concerns. Today Lenovo thinkpads are still the rage, even in cos that are China phobic.
Sorry for going off topic but I felt the need to answer this point, and I repeat that this post should not be construed as anti Chinese.

With that out of the way, Lenovo is absolutely not the choice of any major corporation after the repeated issues with backdoors have been identified. In fact, I'd be surprised if any IT OPSEC worth his salt would even consider them for their organisation. Ironically for this thread, Lenovo took the iconic ThinkPad brand and destroyed it.
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Old 25th July 2019, 02:26   #33
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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 OSH View Post
Now think of what MG India is doing, it is selling you a Baojun/Wuling by telling you that it a MG, so in this case, the MG is 'not' actually an MG. This is the reason why a lot of members on the forum, including me are pissed off.

MG India is clearly playing dirty with us, just look at the screenshots of the website posted by another member few posts back, the MG Hector has nothing of that british heritage that they are showing on the website. The real MG died long time back.
I don't see anything wrong here. SAIC has paid MG for all the branding rights. Similar cases I can think of:
*HMD global paid for licensing and branding of Nokia. Nobody knew of HMD global. Their phones suddenly became Nokia branded, emotionally connected with everyone and they are doing fairly well.
*Mahindra paid for licensing and branding of Jawa. Not many know about Mahindra two-wheelers and they connect with the heart of riders by using Jawa.

Looks at Jawa's website: https://www.jawamotorcycles.com/legacy/history Do you see a mention about Mahindra?


SAIC didn't do anything unethical in my eyes. If I see the product and find it good, I will buy it- even if it is Chinese product with the branding of a classic UK car maker.

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 25th July 2019 at 02:35.
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Old 25th July 2019, 03:57   #34
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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
Even Volvo is now a Chinese owned company. Would we say the Chinese are fooling us into thinking it is a Swedish company.
To reiterate what some members have already stated, ownership of a company shouldn't be confused/compared with badge engineering, especially in the case when it's done with an old brand that has been resuscitated, like MG.

To exemplify, imagine if in few years, Tata started selling cars in Africa with newly acquired Pontiac license and branding, and marketing Pontiac heritage. It would not be wrong but would it be fair?

Last edited by Senna4Ever : 25th July 2019 at 04:00.
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Old 25th July 2019, 04:19   #35
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

This isn't about misleading customers. It's just marketing at it's finest. Indians like to believe in their own supremacy over other races, including the Chinese. While it has been repeated over and over that India won the Kargil war, it's confrontation with China has hardly been talked about, as politicians understand Indian nature. Indians' impressions about Chinese products is that they're flimsy and cheap. A white person is given more respect than a person of color. For all the racist comments that Indians make against the Chinese, the majority of them are not aware that a Chinese company was the primary sponsor of the IPL. MG calling the Hector a British car is simply because Indians would prefer that they bought a "British" Car as opposed to a Chinese one. I'm referring to the majority of Indians and no one specifically, and I do not have anything against Chinese products. They're changing the industry in every sector. Maybe India could learn something from their policies.
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Old 25th July 2019, 04:55   #36
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

A very minuscule percentage would buy the Hector because of a mistaken belief that it's British.

The vast majority would buy because it's got I N T E R N E T I N S I D E and a lot of other bells and whistles and comes at the price of an i20.

To them its paisa vasool - to hell if it's Chinese.
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Old 25th July 2019, 05:38   #37
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

They saw a dead brand name, they paid for and bought the legal rights to use it. Now they're selling an mg again, because they paid for being allowed to do so. They can use the heritage card because they own that heritage now.
What's the problem? And though I've met many people who think that it's a British car with some Chinese efforts, I've met even more who know that it's Chinese.
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Old 25th July 2019, 06:48   #38
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MG a legendary British brand? Hhm, perhaps. But I can't name ONE yesteryear car of this brand without googling. I hope other enthusiasts who are miffed at a Chinese conglomerate supposedly misusing the MG brand are unlike me.

SAIC is smart with their branding strategy. Yes, it may sound over the top to dress a product with non- existent heritage and history. But does that amount to lying and fooling? Not really. You might want to check who makes most of the FMCG products and the premium we pay for the brands.

A major part of Branding and marketing is the emotional quotient. Customers have to feel good, warm, trendy or whatever emotional feeling that may be. There are many ways to achieve this emotional connect with the customer. And it's a mammoth task for a new entrant.

Twenty years before, Hyundai invested heavily on their OWN products and supported them with smart marketing through SRK. The product and marketing efforts complimented each other.

The world has changed now. Auto industry is facing its toughest ever challenge. It's a question of survival really. Just about every auto maker is partnering with another one. I don't think it's worth the risk for SAIC to try what Hyundai did back then. A new millennium requires new solutions and they have succeeded so far with a combination of Product and clever marketing. They won't be interested to win a morality poll in TBHP and loose customers who wouldn't pay 20L to a Chinese brand.

The bottom line however is,
Yes, it'll be suicidal for SAIC to have sold the Hector under a Chinese brand.
No, they didn't fool people by selling it under the MG brand. It's just clever marketing.
Which had a bigger impact? Hector the product or MG the brand?

Don't try to prove to Hector owners that their car doesn't have British MG heritage. May be they care, may be they don't care. If they feel good about it, I'd say that's fine. But don't think they are fools. They can google and know the facts in 2019. It's just what they want to believe about their car.

Just like some want to believe they bought a LandRover at TATA money with the Harrier. 😀
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Old 25th July 2019, 06:53   #39
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

My personal view is that MG Hector is more of a product success than brand success. The evidence of this will come in their second launch. Will customers continue to buy their story? If indeed they do, we have a resurrected brand right here. If they had just come in as MG, proclaiming British lineage (British are not exactly known for quality automobiles, by the way) and tried to fool customers by charging a premium for that lie then this argument will hold true. I was not in the very least taken by their brand story, but when I ventured into their showroom I saw a great interior space, amazing product display, massive monitors, was greeted very well, handed a big fat booklet and follow-ups are happening every day. Indians like value and the feeling of being valued.

What they have done very cleverly is identify a very valid gap, where a 20 lakh rupee bracket car was not offering all the bells and whistles. This is a triumph of extensive research and of course, later their marketing. Initially, they would talk only MG and what it stood for. This is a pure case study where a product has helped or will help recreate an icon. Purely my opinion (mind you, I have not bought their product story either, but just analysing it from an industry perspective).
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Old 25th July 2019, 07:01   #40
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Would say a big big NO. For multiple reasons. Firstly, British or not, it is a brand very few of us would have heard of. Even if they had sold this car with the parent brand, don't think it would have made any significant difference.

Secondly, they are not doing anything shady or illegal. The ownership chain is well known.

Thirdly, in today's day and age, I would expect any buyer, how every ill informed about cars, to do a basic search on the background of a brand he/she is putting 15-20L on.

Hector has caught the imagination because they are selling a package that is perfectly aligned to what most customers want at a very good price. They have spent good effort to build that marketing story.

Last edited by moralfibre : 25th July 2019 at 08:25. Reason: Small typo.
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Old 25th July 2019, 07:15   #41
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
Basically everyone who is not an enthusiast.
That everyone actually includes TBP-ians. And I thought TBHP-ians were enthusiasts.

If this car was a real MG, it would be have been developed with help/by MG. But MG is long gone. The car itself has been around in different names before it was introduced in India as a "MG". And if it was a true MG, then it should have been sold as a MG everywhere. Not different names in different countries. However, here they brought a car that is already in other markets, into India and gave it the MG name. And we have people lapping it up.



Even their recent announcement that bookings have been stopped is pure marketing spiel. Just like how they used the name.
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Old 25th July 2019, 07:23   #42
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Indians are suckers when it comes to a good deal be it from China or any part of the world. When an almost unknown brand MG (how many people out there know about MG) can garner so much interest and advance bookings it means the brand has hit the sweet spot with the Indians. Now it remains to be seen if MG is able to deliver the "goods". That said JLR is owned by TML and Volvo is owned by the Chinese but they cost an arm and a leg to buy and maintain: so why aren't we talking about those in the same tone: because most of us can't afford it so why bother?? Basically, we Indians can afford only a Maruti and Hyundai (whose VFM tag has slowly start to fade: the reason the automakers are in trouble now: greedy asking price) and now we have a Chinese player that's upped the ante and giving us more for less: all that remains to be seen is how MG Hector performs in the real Indian world and how durable their product is and how their service quality and costs turn out.

Last edited by Durango Dude : 25th July 2019 at 07:37.
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Old 25th July 2019, 07:32   #43
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiku007 View Post
MG a legendary British brand? Hhm, perhaps. But I can't name ONE yesteryear car of this brand without googling.
The Morris Minor was a very popular car back in the 1960s in India. My grandfather had one. It was also a very common sight in the movies too. Now, these old vintage cars sell at a premium.

MG is successful in reviving the brand in India. Though its a Chinese car or not, its a better attempt than what more established brands like Renault, Nissan and Fiat are doing.
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Old 25th July 2019, 08:01   #44
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by landcruiser123 View Post
I don't see anything wrong here. SAIC has paid MG for all the branding rights. Similar cases I can think of:
*HMD global paid for licensing and branding of Nokia. Nobody knew of HMD global. Their phones suddenly became Nokia branded, emotionally connected with everyone and they are doing fairly well.
*Mahindra paid for licensing and branding of Jawa. Not many know about Mahindra two-wheelers and they connect with the heart of riders by using Jawa.

Looks at Jawa's website: https://www.jawamotorcycles.com/legacy/history Do you see a mention about Mahindra?
Just because others have done it and haven't been called out for the same doesn't mean that they're not wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hrk997 View Post
T
Indians like to believe in their own supremacy over other races, including the Chinese. While it has been repeated over and over that India won the Kargil war, it's confrontation with China has hardly been talked about, as politicians understand Indian nature. Indians' impressions about Chinese products is that they're flimsy and cheap. A white person is given more respect than a person of color. For all the racist comments that Indians make against the Chinese, the majority of them are not aware that a Chinese company was the primary sponsor of the IPL. MG calling the Hector a British car is simply because Indians would prefer that they bought a "British" Car as opposed to a Chinese one. I'm referring to the majority of Indians and no one specifically, and I do not have anything against Chinese products. They're changing the industry in every sector. Maybe India could learn something from their policies.
Please do not bring racism into the argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMG Power View Post
....and a lot of other bells and whistles and comes at the price of an i20.
Off topic, but hey, I have a deal for you. I'll pay you the price of an i20 and you give me a Hector with all the "bells and whistles". Fair?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Even if they had sold this car with the parent brand , don't think it would have made any significant difference.
Even MG knows it would've made a significant difference, and that's exactly the reason why they're bringing in the legacy of the brand into the equation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Secondly, they are not doing anything shady or illegal. The ownership chain is well known.
No, they're not doing anything shady or illegal. The legality of their actions isn't being discussed here, their ethical values are.
Yes, I agree, the ownership chain is extremely well known. In fact, I'd even applied to (and gotten into) SAIC for a degree in design. Wait, aren't we talking about the School of Art Institute of Chicago?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Durango Dude View Post
Indians are suckers when it comes to a good deal be it from China or any part of the world. When an almost unknown brand MG (how many people out there know about MG) can garner so much interest and advance bookings it means the brand has hit the sweet spot with the Indians.
Sir, I agree a lot of people may not have known about MG, but MG themselves have changed that by educating everyone about the British lineage of the company.
I think it'd be unfair to call MG an unknown brand. Yes, I agree that Indians pounce on good deals, but in this case, the perfect example would be Xiaomi. They didn't have any legacy branding yet they hit the sweet spot. Indians didn't complain about the Chinese branding then. The same can't be said about MG though, since they've tried very hard to portray themselves as a British brand (unlike Xiaomi).

Having gone through all the posts, I'm convinced that a lot of people don't understand that there's a fine line between what's good and what's ethical. Perfect case of right vs right.

Last edited by boniver : 25th July 2019 at 08:02.
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Old 25th July 2019, 08:15   #45
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

I've voted No.

In my head, it is a just business move. One knows his weak areas and makes investment in branding and PR, so as to ease out a lot of negativity.

Someone might say that it is a manipulation of sorts, but to me, the company is just making wise decisions to increase it's top-line.

The only other example I can think of : Oppo was globally, especially in India, detested for being "Chinese". So, they made massive investments in branding via sponsorships for the Indian Cricket Team and other modes of PR building, such that, a lot of the customers now can atleast shortlist their products when they are out for a new Android phone.

Last edited by sharktale : 25th July 2019 at 08:16.
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