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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, 14:05   #91
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Behold the flaring tempers here! This is just a Team-BHP world problem (like "first world problems"). People will buy MG's cars regardless of what we are gutting each others' bowels about. Let's put away the knives and mop up the blood shall we? The title of this thread is provocative that way, because "fooling" is a strong word for what's afoot here.

Having said that, do remember that when Tata introduced the Indica as the City Rover in the UK, James May from Top Gear BBC went with a hidden camera for a test drive from a showroom (because their request for a formal review was declined) and he proceeded to tear up the product in a scathing review, mostly because it was a Tata product in different clothing. We aren't the first ones scoffing at a real brand/identity hidden behind a car's exterior.

I might scoff at MG, but I wouldn't mind buying a car of theirs. End of story.
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Old 25th July 2019, 14:07   #92
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Voted for 'No'. Rebadging and white labeling is common across industries and I dont see anything wrong in it. Any customer spending ~20L in a product will look at what it offers, quality and whether it meets the requirements. Of course brand matters, however I don't think MG is fooling anyone. MG and its history is publicly available so anyone can check if he/she wishes to.
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Old 25th July 2019, 14:28   #93
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

What about Hyundai and Maruti which sold different models with the same diesel and petrol engines for 10 years? The Swift is still sold with a 15 year old engine, the same old car is sold as a premium car in the name of Baleno or S-Cross. The comparison of Chinese phones with Chinese cars is a shock. There is an organised market in SEMICON industry for refurbished manufacturing equipments. China is a home to such companies, the phone makers have benefitted from this network and make cheaper phones. MG is not selling a car in India with refurbished engines or body panels.
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Old 25th July 2019, 14:30   #94
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Voted for No. I don't think there is anything wrong in using a brand you rightfully own. Globablization has made sure that you can not attest one country as the place of engineering for any product. It is all about managing market perceptions and it is okay to use names that appeal to particular localities.

A question to people who think this would have sunk had it been marketed as Baojun 530. I agree with that. But do you think it would have sunk similarly if it was marketed as SIAC Hector instead of MG Hector. I personally think , it is the 'Hector' or 'Baojun' that makes the difference to the common public than 'MG or SIAC'.

Last edited by padmrajravi : 25th July 2019 at 14:39.
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Old 25th July 2019, 14:35   #95
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

I've voted "Yes".

Just because they own the brand doesn't justify them to use the legacy to sell a run off the mill Chinese product.

There is no virtue associated with the MG brand. And they know it. The usp as per them is "internet inside", which is admission to the fact that they're banking on some cheap Chinese gadgets to sell the vehicle (and it stunning that they've sold out their entire planned production )

Even the engine is Fiat sourced
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Old 25th July 2019, 14:43   #96
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

In my opinion, although it's owned by SAIC but the heritage of the brand remains in the UK which in my opinion is being rightfully showcased by MG. By creating this poll, do we want that MG should showcase it as a Chinese product only with videos being shot in Beijing with a top Chinese actor and then we call it the right approach? ROFL!

Last edited by NAVREVV : 25th July 2019 at 14:44.
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Old 25th July 2019, 15:01   #97
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Voted No.

We now live in a world of 'Hyper Information' where information is generated at unprecedented levels.

It's the consumers responsibility to be informed on the products he/she might want to purchase. Via Smart phones media reviews, customer reviews of virtually all products are available at ones fingertips.

I'm pretty sure a customer buying a Hector can be expected to be reasonably well informed on the product and it's history.

I'm a potential Hector buyer and I have been following news on it across various mediums. Now I'm waiting for the official TeamBHP review and some user reviews, following which I intend to Test drive the vehicle.
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Old 25th July 2019, 15:05   #98
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Voted Can't Say.

We have manufacturers selling bloated hatchbacks as SUVs, the market accepts it.

We have manufacturers calling Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) as Smart Hybrid systems, our government allowed to claim taxpayer money as subsidy for such vehicles.

We have seen multiple manufacturers selling cars from their brand portfolio giving an impression that they belong to their own breed, examples are aplenty in preceding posts.

So essentially such decoy is a common norm in the industry, knowingly and unknowingly acceptance seems to be there.
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Old 25th July 2019, 15:09   #99
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

I voted yes because one has to differentiate between two things.

1. Adopting a brand name by buying people, assets and IP of a company, keeping the distinctive spirit, product design or key contributions from that brand intact while delivering new products that carry the brand name.

2. Buying a brand and stickering it on products that are unrelated to that brand, which do not retain any distinctive characteristics and ethos of that brand.

There are plenty of good examples of Case 1 above - Geely's Volvo Acquisition, Lenovo's Thinkpad acquisition etc. No one is going to questions the use of parent brands names in these cases, the subsequent products retain much of the parent's DNA.

However, the MG Hector case is an example of case 2 above. The brand name is being plastered on a product that was designed and built totally independently by GM and SAIC. It is not sold as an "MG" car anywhere other than India.

I hesitated to vote yes because there is a difference between fooling and mis-leading. MG is definitely mis-leading customers. I would not go as far as to say they are fooling customers, since they have every right to use the brand and they are only marketing the British origins of the brand not the car. Please read the website and brochure carefully.

Last edited by 84.monsoon : 25th July 2019 at 15:12.
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Old 25th July 2019, 15:11   #100
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Voted YES -

1. As a company they certainly are masquerading as a British brand which they aren't, and which for the large part of the car buying folks in this country is aspirational.
2. By masquerading as a British brand they are seeking to deflect attention away from their Chinese DNA which is negatively perceived in this country; they're doing so for commercial gain.
3. While it can be argued that point 1 above is necessary to mitigate point 2, it's still blatantly untrue and misleads the customers in placing trust in the company.

4. I'll reserve my personal opinion on how good or bad the company eventually is, based upon how the product actually performs in varied conditions over at least 3-5 years, and how the overall ownership experience is.

Sincere Good luck to all the risk taking early adopters, and I hope the company realises that it mustn't let you guys down. Cheers.

Last edited by roy_libran : 25th July 2019 at 15:28.
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Old 25th July 2019, 15:25   #101
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

I can't understand the fuss about this MG-SAIC thing. There are Chinese electronics everywhere down to the critical components of a car or more, which is regardless of the country of origin of the car (manufacturer). The quality depends on who does it and at what price (iPhone vs Palika Bazaar mobile is one such example), and this holds good in every country.

Besides components are sourced from different countries. I remember desi Tata Hexa had at least a dozen countries in the vendor list (French Power Powerglide is just one I remember). Another thing I remember is Tata's design studio in UK was responsible for the design of their recent releases like Nexon, Tiago.

A lot of brands are sensitive in marketing from region to region and also model to model

1. Chevy did a Spark out of Matiz in India. If it were sold as a Daewoo, it may not have sold the small volumes which the Spark did.
2. Suzuki may never introduce a Kizashi in India.
3. Should Toyota Glanza or a (future) Suzuki Corolla be spared?

Bottomline is, if the manufacturer offers a good product and supports it well, should we really care about the how 'Chinese' it is? There's a Tamil saying that's relevant 'kozhi kuruda irundha enna kozhambu rusiya irukka' (which loosely translates to: As long as the dish is tasty why do you care if the chicken was blind or not). You get the drift!

More real concern should be whether the new entrant would support their products as much as their established counterparts do. Which is what I would look at before parking my money with them.
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Old 25th July 2019, 15:56   #102
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Brands are about aspirational value, not about facts. A brand is supposed to reflect certain values. Whether those are relevant for the buyer, or whether you chose to believe them, and are prepared to, literally, buy into them, is a personal choice. But in the end, they are primarily a visual illusion, a dream. For some they can actually see, like and appreciate the dream, for others in wont be worth anything.

You might be appreciative of BMW gruesome attention to detail and handling. Not every BMW gets made in Germany. But every BMW owner around the world, irrespective of where his/her car is manufactured, will praise German grundlichheit. If the Germans can get their American plants to churn out BMWs with the same look and feel and quality as the German plants, what is the difference? From a branding point of view they still adhere to the BMW German brand values.

The notion that any brand is British, or American or whatever particular nationality is something that in today's Global world simply doesn't exist, certainly not in the automotive industry. Certain aspect of cars are often associated with certain nation specific skills (or lack there of).

Nice veneer paneling in any car is often associated with typical British craftsmanship. But so is rust, poor quality control and strikes!

Truth be told, even decades ago, very few brands were truly designed and manufactured in one country. In fact, especially the UK automotive industry has been relying on outside help for decades in all sort of shape and formats.

The Landrover Discovery was based on a Volvo Chassis and Ford engine. Does that make it less of a "British" car. A surprising number of British car designs came from Non-UK design studios. Some of the most heralded British sport saloons sport American V8s.

Many Brits would consider Ford and Vauxhall British cars, for no other reason several models have been manufactured in the UK. But they are of course American and German / French owned companies. Vauxhall is just the British Opel badge.

Nobody seems to be too bothered about all of this. If the car still lives up to your expectations and meets what the brand is supposed to stand for, all is well!

Personally I always thought this MG branding curious to say the least. Because as a brand, MG stands for just about everything that was wrong with the British Automotive Industry at that time. At least that is very much the view in large parts of the Western world.

There is a reason even today a Jaguar depreciates faster than you can throw money at it. My Jaguar depreciated almost 85% in only 7 years, whilst still in close to concour state.

Depreciation on cars is a reflection of true Brand value. There are always going to be punters shelling out big bucks, but most believe British stands for rusty, unreliable, old fashioned cars. (Those have some followers, (e.g. me) but not many).

Debating whether a brand lives up to its promises/values is pointless. It is highly personal whether it does or not. Does not mean either party is right or wrong either.

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Old 25th July 2019, 16:00   #103
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Originally Posted by OSH View Post
So going by that logic, all companies are allowed to cheat/mislead just because the public has now got resources to find out how they are cheating us ?
Firstly this is NOT a case of cheating. MG brand is owned by SAIC, it can use it whatever way it wants. Heck, they can even market MG baby powder. Make your peace with it. Secondly, if you spend millions of dollars & buy a brand, why will you not advertise its history?
MG as it is never had that strong a brand recall as the Germans, Americans or Japanese or even the other British brands. So nobody was going to buy MG, based solely on the brand itself. People will buy Hector for its strengths as a car.

Originally Posted by OSH View Post
Please don't add your own stuff. Where have I written that SAIC should not use the brand MG ? I am only against them using the brand and then misleading the public to believe that it is the old british brand which it is clearly not.
Wow, how do you use a brand without referring to its history? What was SAIC supposed to refer to MG as, Maruti Garages?

Originally Posted by OSH View Post
They are telling you that the Hector is british. You are OK with that ? Is it right or wrong in your books ?
I don't care what they say, I buy stuff based on own research & experience. They are well within their rights to market their stuff their way. Do you also get offended when Dettol says that they kill 99.9% germs but you find it has not cleaned your hands sometimes from the dirt?

Originally Posted by OSH View Post
The real MG is that MG whose legacy has been written about on MG India's website.
And if you think all cars in that legacy are designed & manufactured by MG themselves, may you get well soon.

Originally Posted by OSH View Post
Apple Inc. still devolopes and designs the phone, it is only assembled by Foxconn after getting parts from many countries. Apple is not doing anything like what MG India is doing.
Fact check - the chipset is designed & built by TSMC (Taiwanese), camera sensor by Sony, modem by Intel & Qualcomm (American), RAM by Samsung & so on & so forth....
Apple only designs the iOS & gives specifications to the other manufacturers.
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Old 25th July 2019, 16:00   #104
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Voted Yes - for obvious reasons. You CANNOT justify the fooled branding on a 20L money vehicle. For people justifying Apple iPhones manufactured in China - even Apple clearly mentions designed in California on the device and made in China on the box. And that's nowhere close to an important purchase as a vehicle!

But what I cannot believe is the justification put forward in this thread to justify the "No" The logic is similar to what we have in board room meetings - let's identify a quadrant in a 2x2 matrix which is not crowded and just sell our products their. Focus on customer's ignorance / limited understanding and let's reap benefit of it. Just disclose what they need to know!

The thread is not about ranting Chinese quality. They are manufacturing hub of the world and they will have quality scale across the spectrum. The thing that is worrying is fooling customers in a high involvement category where they put their hard earned money on an unknown brand. I (and I know many others) am still scared in putting our money on Mahindra and Tata even after all work they have done just because of branding and then to offer something with no historic records of performance in our markets but cover that all by clever marketing is not DONE!

One of the days CCI will have to buckle up and not worry about loosing manufacturing opportunities to curb these ill practices!

PS: re-badging / re-branding is quite a long practice. Agreed, but when a brand (say Volvo) puts its brand name against a nameplate it puts a lot on stake. Its because its just not doing a white labeling but will have to put spices in the car that defines that brand (quality, handling, performance, etc.) What do you do when the brand is unknown and doesn't stand for anything? What has it got to add any spices in the curry? And why will it do it?
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Old 25th July 2019, 16:15   #105
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Default Re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Voted No.

If you can accept Volvo as a Swedish brand even today, i do see any reason why one cannot accept MG as a British brand!

Mahindra billed Alturas G4 and XUV 300 as Indian right ? How is it different for MG now ?

What about Nissan and Renault ? A French brand that has a car identical to a Japanese Brand ? Yeah understand the JV, but if one can accept an Euro-Asian JV why can't they digest a Euro-Asian Acquisition ?

Dacia Duster as a Renault Duster ? No problems with that ?

Going by that, Lower end Suzukis' is more Indian than Japanese.

Someone said Tata-Jag cannot be compared to this since Jaguar is still a car of British Engineering! Looks like Half a the people who voted Yes, wont have an issue if SAIC was a say a German or American or even a Korean brand !

What is the issue with Chinese products ! Ultimately, any product will lose out if they don't bring quality products and we have seen many Chinese brands stand up and deliver on Cost and Value aspects in the last 5-6 years.

I think we should give it to Hector and MG motors for pulling off this show. They may not have an ultimate product in hand, but they made great, conscious effort outside of the car to create value in mind of Indians !

IMO, this is 2000 times better than Brands which run 20 year old engines on Tin cans or Brands which acquire Luxury tag only in India and price it like a celestial object !!
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