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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, 08:38   #46
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Voted No.

Since in this day and age a simple google search would show up the facts on who true owners are.

Do we care? If the Chinese make good VFM products Indians are more than ready to lap it up.( See the phone market). Phone market has really changed how people look at Chinese goods its has changed for the better.

Was bringing the vehicles as “MG” a good ploy? I would say yes. Even if the buyers dont care they are purchasing a chinese product, neighbors/others would be like “oh you bought a Chinese car” ( aka trying to insinuate that it is “cheap”). But with the MG branding they skipped over these perception issues. So good job by SAIC/MG.
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Old 25th July 2019, 08:44   #47
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

From whatever little I have read about the Hector as a product [over here and a bit by few editorials] and if I were in the market for that kind of pseudo SUV in that price bracket, I won't be buying it any time soon, especially with Seltos on the way, Harrier improving its rough edges and there are other products on which I may spend money.

Absolutely nothing to do with its origins, but as Xiaomi/Mi conducts its sales, MG I believe did something similar, so you can't really hide your roots.
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Old 25th July 2019, 08:54   #48
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

As someone who studied marketing, I have to say this was a brilliant move. If it was launched as a "Baojun", the car would have sunk without a trace. The Chinese know that they are building product capability fast, but they will always have a perception problem. That's why, with their bags full of cash, the Chinese have bought famous brands = MG, Volvo, Pirelli, Lenovo, Hoover, GE appliances, Gieves & Hawkes and many more.

IMHO, the brand doesn't count today. We have VWs rebadged as Audis, BMWs rebadged as Rolls-Royces, Renaults rebadged as Nissans (and vice versa), Marutis rebadged as Toyotas (who would have thought!!), Daewoos & Isuzus rebadged as Chevrolets...the list goes on.

What matters is the product. I found the Hector to be decent. It is no segment-benchmark or rivaling the established brands in engineering finesse, but it will leave owners reasonably satisfied, especially at that price (long-term reliability is a big unknown though).

The "Chinese" baggage is evident from the fact that no one created such a thread when GM launched Korean products with an American badge .

Last edited by GTO : 26th July 2019 at 07:47.
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Old 25th July 2019, 09:01   #49
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

No.

I see it as another player in our highly opinionated market (read Maruti) offering a substantial vehicle and utilizing a brand they purchased. Are they fooling the customers, no, because one can go out and find out what the mother company is. It is really not hidden, nor does it have to be highlighted. And everyone in India knows everything is Chinese touched (ok maybe not Zippo lighters), but the story ends and starts their only.
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Old 25th July 2019, 09:02   #50
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Using the MG brand name is purely for marketing and targeted mostly towards people who are unaware of the brand. In general, Chinese brands have a bad perception in India irrespective of the quality of the products. For years, majority of Indians prefer a foreign brand (except Chinese of course) than an equivalent if not better local brand. This is due to the common belief that foreign products are always better than Indian products. SAIC will have done their homework and would have come to the idea that the MG brand will sell much better than if it was launched with a Chinese one. Badge engineering is not new in the Indian car scene. Renault for example launched the Dacia Logan, Duster and Lodgy as Renault and had been successful. As long as the products are of good quality and are available with all the bells and whistles and have good after sales services, there is nothing wrong in going for the products from any brands.
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Old 25th July 2019, 09:18   #51
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

I voted No.
  • MG is a British brand which is currently owned by the Chinese.
  • Having worked in a Chinese company for a few years, I have observed that Indian and Chinese people rarely say no to Europeans and Americans. What I mean to express is that the same opinion coming from people of different races invokes different reactions. That can have 2 effects in this context:
    1. The Indian public will view the same cars more favorably because they appear to come from a European brand.
    2. The voices of the European employees will be taken more seriously in the product planning stages

The "Europeanness" might help them initially, but what will make it or break it is the quality and value of the product and service. If all is good MG continue to be pursued as a European brand. If the initial products are full of issues, and if MG does not support the customers, then they will be branded as a Chinese brand disguising as a European brand.
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Old 25th July 2019, 10:15   #52
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

The very Idea of "Branding" a product is to "fool" customers, so to say. We have Monte Carlo, John Miller, Da Milano, Louis phillips, Hidesign, IFB, the list goes on.

Forget about Chinese, how many of us would buy an IFB washing machine if it is named, let's say, Ganpati Industries? Or a Hidesign leather product by the name Pondy Leather products?

It's not SAIC that is fooling us, It's us ourselves who are a sucker for showing off.
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Old 25th July 2019, 10:15   #53
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Not sure what the fuss is all about?! SAIC is preserving the badge engineering tradition of MG Motors.

There were original MG cars during the early years and there were brand engineered MG cars during the later years while still under british ownership (and then others) before the company folded and ended up with Chinese. So the brits and others were fooling the brits long before chinese set up shop here to fool us

The later years of british car industry was a mix of different brands, shared products and a long gasp. Then others came in from across the pond(s) and left with whatever they could get their hands on.

My vote is No.

Last edited by Sankar : 25th July 2019 at 10:16.
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Old 25th July 2019, 10:23   #54
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

When SAIC can sell MG 6 (made in China ) in U.K , why can't they use the badge anywhere else?
They have the brand in their portfolio, why won't they use it !
What would sound good, a SAIC Hector /Baijun Hector/Baijun 530 or a MG Hector? Its not the the same as buying 5000/- cellphone, where you give a darn about brand value. Here the perception is of high value.
Volkswagen owns multiple brands and often there is exchange of platforms and powertrains, does that diminish the value of those brands?

It's all about perception. Don't we see brands Louis Philippe / John Player/ Peter England which are nothing but Aditya Birla and ITC brands.
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Old 25th July 2019, 10:32   #55
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

My main concern would be, has the engine been developed by MG or by the Chinese co? If this is an "Made in China" engine then I would be staying away. But if MG has in some way part of developing the engine which has been slapped with a Chinese touchscreen on the dashboard then it is good enough for me to be passed on as an MG product, else hell no. That being said I was not aware much of the MG brand and had just heard the name before on Top Gear etc.
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Old 25th July 2019, 10:35   #56
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Disagree with the OP's line of thought.
- Anybody spending 20 L will do so based on research, reviews & test drives. If he/she finds the car good, he/she buys it, if not, won't buy. Flag of any country has nothing to do with this.
- Our mindset of China manufacturing only cheap products has to go. Today's companies are not fools to outsource 95% of electronics manufacturing to China - microprocessor chips, RAM, motherboards, chipsets, mobile phones, what have you.
- How much American is Harley Davidson in India? How much Japanese is Kawasaki in India? How much Austrian is KTM in India? Today, these marquees churn out quality products at par anywhere else in the world. There's no reason to think that MG manufacturing Hector in Britain would be any better than it being manufactured by a Chinese company.
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Old 25th July 2019, 10:35   #57
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Well, I do not see any reason as why SAIC should be blamed for misleading prospective Indian buyers into believing MG as British brand. The principal reasons being the following;

a. In case any buyer is interested in knowing the origin/ heritage/ lineage of the Car brand, he has the entire world at his fingertips (read internet et-al) and get complete information. We are not living in the era of printed books, where the information that is not easily accessible was spread more by the ‘word of mouth’. Today there is no need to believe in rumours or rely on speculative assumptions.
b. One may argue that SAIC has been using the badge and logo of a legendary British brand (apparently to mislead the customers) whilst the product is Chinese, even then it is a matter of fact they have acquired such rights legitimately and are well within their domain to do so. Perhaps they are highlighting more on British heritage than Chinese roots, merely to dilute the customer sentiments that are driven by political equations.
c. People today are far more matured while taking financial decisions, it is not merely because of the British name that they plonk twenty big ones, but it is more of being satisfied by the product as a whole. The British name is more of a novelty factor.
d. The country of origin plays only a small fraction in the overall ownership experience. Koreans were unknown to Indians until 1998, and today they are amongst the most preferred country of origin when it comes to product selection. Similarly when VW (or to this extent even Skoda) entered India they were considered as epitome of technological prowess and they overnight gained a status equivalent of luxury marquee. Today they are bashed up for horrendous reliability and poor customer support.
The product does not qualify to be discounted merely for being of Chinese origin. The brand is yet to prove itself on long term reliability, after sales support and the overall ownership experience. In case if they succeed in meeting the demands of the Indian customer, then who knows, the matter of Chinese origin may in fact turn into a preferred factor for product selection.
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Old 25th July 2019, 10:41   #58
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

"caveat emptor"

the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made.

It's the buyers job to know what he is buying. Companies say whatever they want for selling their products. It's your job to verify the claims. If you got fooled for not doing your homework, you are the sole person to blame.
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Old 25th July 2019, 10:53   #59
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Selling a supposedly more fragrant Rose by another name happens all the time. When Reagan clamped down on Japanese car sales in the US, the Japs came out with luxury car brands which were priced higher in order to earn higher margins and compensate for their losses in turnover - Honda/Acura, Nissan/Infiniti & Toyota/Lexus.

These roses by other names actually sold well and are going strong even today. Suzuki has learnt that a Nexa brand helps in a premium positioning, something which can't be achieved under its Maruti brand name...

But here's the googly - I stilled voted 'Yes', that SAIC is fooling buyers. At the end of all their recently aired TV ads, they've flaunted the "since 1924" thing with a distinctly British sounding jingle when the "1924" is focused upon. 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...
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Old 25th July 2019, 11:01   #60
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

I disagree with the OP here. With the advent of globalisation and the world becoming a smaller place, it is very difficult to place a so called 'stamp of heritage' or 'nationality of a brand'. Some examples that I can think of.

1. Is Volvo a Swedish company or a Chinese brand (Geely owns it)?
2. Is Jeep an American brand or an Italian one (FCA owns it)?
3. JLR is considered to be British, but since bought by Tata, will we call it Indian brands?
4. Renualt-Nissan makes what cars? French or Japanese?
5. Is Maruti-Suzuki Indian or Japanese? Considering the fact that MSIL will soon be larger than the parent brand itself!
6. Rolls Royce (British brand) owned by BMW (Germans). So if I buy a RR, what would it be? A German or a British car?
7. VW - Lamborghini is nothing but a German car? There are many such examples in the VW umbrella.

Point is, with the internet and everything today, a buyer is well aware of the history of what he's buying. The MG branding is a masterstroke as it keeps the brand alive as well as offers a 'feel good' factor the buyers.
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