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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 24th July 2019, 20:11   #1
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Default Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

The MG Hector has got the sales charts on fire due to obvious reasons. Aggressive pricing, loaded to the gills, enticing looks (for the most part) and British heritage is what Indians believe the car brings to the table against established counterparts such as the Hyundai Creta and even the TATA Harrier.

However, I have noticed by and large that people have a really rosy picture of the car in their minds, unlike us bhpians. I had an argument with my friend a few days back when he deemed the MG to be I quote "a world class product built by a British sports car company".

Coming to facts:

- MG is no longer the nostalgic traditional British two door sports car manufacturer that most Indians perceive it to be. It's as British as the Chevrolet Sail was American

- The Hector, being marketed as a British SUV, is actually one of the many products in the SAIC/GM/WULING venture that seems to be engineered entirely by the Chinese for markets such as India, Indonesia and South American countries. Some products are developed by the MG design centre in the U.K, but the Hector doesn't seem to be one of those to me at least. If any one wishes to shed more light on this, would be more than happy.

My opinion:

- MG has no right to fool customers in such a way. I don't have anything against Chinese products and am not a hardcore patriot either (No offence to anyone who is). However, marketing this car as an SUV manufactured by a British company when it is only a good example of badge engineering seems to be ethically inappropriate to me at least.

If Indians hate Chinese goods, its entirely MG's problem, not ours. Fooling someone by making him pay close to 20 big ones in what he believes is a British car is not something which is to be taken lightly IMO. Not everyone reads up wikipedia pages and does research like us enthusiasts on what company is acquired by whom.

To conclude I would like to quote late bhpian steeroid who aptly summed this up:

Quote:

Quality issues will come out sooner than later - the veneer is usually very thin on Chinese automobiles. The worry is how many folks that have bought into this fake British story would’ve lost their money by then. A forum like this should educate masses and not add to the chorus as people go headlong for an unknown brand. That much responsibility I believe we owe to those that come here.

The subterfuge shown in positioning the vehicle as something it isn’t is unethical, IMHO.
Regards,
Vishy
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Old 24th July 2019, 20:27   #2
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Other than a few car enthusiasts most Indian car buyers today would know little about the MG marque or what it stood for. Those who book would have done so based on price versus what the car offers. We are fooling ourselves by believing our own and Western myths of Shoddy Chinese products. They make the full range of quality from the cheap and cheerful to the top end. Even Volvo is now a Chinese owned company. Would we say the Chinese are fooling us into thinking it is a Swedish company.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 24th July 2019 at 20:42.
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Old 24th July 2019, 20:34   #3
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

This same car is launched in Indonesia with another name ALMAZ by WULING Motors and see the difference, there MG has NO VALUE....



and the original car Baojun 530

Last edited by ::CMS:: : 24th July 2019 at 20:49.
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Old 24th July 2019, 20:36   #4
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

I don't know how many of you have ever traveled in the local buses. Those who have, they must have seen hawkers selling giffin goods (low quality products) at dirt low rates and the boxes have names of brands like Tata, Reliance etc (Yes, copyrights can go down the drain).

Still people don't buy them. For the established brands, the logo on the nose matters - for a new entrant; the car behind that logo is the one that sells. We have seen multiple new brands entering Indian market and tasting success in the recent times, Volvo is owned by Geely today, Apple products are made in China; and what not.

I don't find anything wrong in buying a decent product coming out of Chinese market; we love Aliexpress. Don't we?

My vote goes for 'can't say', they are too new to the market to be considered as someone fooling around. Additionally, I don't think that I, even myself, know even five percent about the history of the MG brand; nor I am interested in knowing so - what I am focused on is the car I am putting my money into - nothing else.
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Old 24th July 2019, 20:41   #5
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

I think it's no wrong that they are marketing British heritage. Afterall, when you buy a brand/company, you also buy their goodwill and reputation which are called intangible assets.

Look, India is a free market where any company can venture and set up shop. If the product is really bad, the public will reject it. MG has shown the Hector isn't. Afterall, however much we enthusiasts don't like it, it's the public which decided if a product should be successful or not.

I see nothing wrong with MG doing this. Even Volvo is owned by Geely but that doesn't mean they can't market it as a Swedish product.
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Old 24th July 2019, 20:43   #6
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

In my point of view, Who cares about from which country a car company is from? It all boils down to the car and the advantages it offers against its competitors.

Anyone living in India, having money to buy this car, would definitely have access to internet. And they probably would've watched numerous videos about the car in Youtube. In every walk-around video, the guy tells us that MG once a British company, is now a part of SAIC from China.

If people in India hate china that much, we don't have much reasons to love Britain either... Just my two cents.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 24th July 2019 at 23:11. Reason: Spacing
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Old 24th July 2019, 20:44   #7
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Well most other manufacturers are doing the same.

Renault markets its cars as French cars, although most of them are Romanian. Nissan takes these Romanian-French cars and boasts of Japanese engineering in them.

We see General Motors selling US Chevrolet cars using South Korean and later horrible Chinese cars. MG is following GM.

The Jeep Compass is more of an Italian Fiat than American Jeep perse. It uses a Fiat engine and Fiat platform as well.

Even up the price chain, the Rolls Royce or Bentley may carry the heritage of a British marque but we all know they are nothing but German BMWs and VWs respectively.

My German friend living in Frankfurt texted me saying he got an Indian car, I asked which, he replied the Land Rover Discovery. And I here drive a German car not sold in Germany.

This is the New World. Borders are disappearing fast. Gone are the days the West was seen as rich countries. Majority of the major investors are Asians, especially the Chinese and Japanese. There are some Indians too who have turned Global citizens.

MG may be a British Brand selling a rebadged Chinese car, but their cars are decent, definitely value for money. Their next car MG eZS in UK costs around Rs 5 lakhs lesser than the Kona EV, it doesnt have the range of a Kona, but still, its fantastic value for money!
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Old 24th July 2019, 20:45   #8
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Does Tata sell Jaguar under Tata named showrooms??? Or what about the 10s of brands sold by VW. Rebadging is the name of the game in Auto industry. Anyways its the product which matters. If the product is found to be not reliable then I guess they will have to shut down in a generation(5 yrs) or two
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Old 24th July 2019, 20:53   #9
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers? Absolutely not! We Indians always believe in the old saying - caveat emptor. It takes a lot to make us part with our money. If MG is doing well, lets not imagine that its due to fancy card tricks and projections that cover up a poor product.

I was only going to vote on this thread and move on since fellow forum members have listed out the points well and this seems to be a rather simple discussion. But I am genuinely surprised that currently there are more Yes votes than No.
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Old 24th July 2019, 21:01   #10
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vishy76 View Post
If any one wishes to shed more light on this, would be more than happy.
Don't think it is a new product either. New Chevrolet Captiva.

Cheers

Last edited by aah78 : 24th July 2019 at 21:29. Reason: Please quote only relevant portions of posts. Thanks!
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Old 24th July 2019, 21:27   #11
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

How is MG fooling anyone?

Going by your logic, Apple is fooling everyone, because their iPhones say Designed by Apple in California, when they are build and assembled in China.

Chevrolet was fooling everyone when they launched the Sail and the Enjoy, as they were SAIC vehicles.

Toyota is fooling everyone as the Glanza is built in a Maruti plant.
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Old 24th July 2019, 21:30   #12
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers? Absolutely not! We Indians always believe in the old saying - caveat emptor. It takes a lot to make us part with our money. If MG is doing well, lets not imagine that its due to fancy card tricks and projections that cover up a poor product.
I second this. It takes a lot for us Indians to part with 20 big ones. Every review in you tube has painstakingly pointed of its Chinese roots right at the beginning of the video. So have all the auto review websites. So no, I do not think there is any fooling around. Simple badge re-engineering that has been happening for what seems like ages now in the auto sector.
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Old 24th July 2019, 21:34   #13
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Going against a few senior posters (especially Narayan whose posts are almost always bang on the money), I'd say yes to the question.

There are two main points to address when I ask myself this question.

1. Are other manufacturers not doing similar badge engineering? : Examples given in this thread range from Dacia-Renault to Volvo-Geely. Dacia was a brand tottering on the brink of demise when Renault saved it, and though I don't know for sure but I hope Renault contributed towards the product engineering of the new generation of reliable Dacias. Volvo is a stalwart while Geely, well, is best known for copying designs. So no reason why Geely would sell Volvo cars under it's brand.

MG was a dead company and SAIC bought just the logo. It is very different from taking over an existing and alive brand and incorporating it within your umbrella (I give the examples of FCA & VW here, lest someone asks if we call a Porsche a VW)

What differentiates a Renault or a VW or a FCA from SAIC is the former has pedigree and heritage, and the latter doesn't. So we cannot compare their situations and approaches towards of badge engineering.

SAIC is a very young carmaker, which was helped by the government-mandated partnership with GM (including technology transfer) to learn the ropes. There is no other comparable "brand appropriation" (I think this term is more apt than just badge engineering in this situation) that I can think of, when trying to find similar examples to SAIC's use of the MG brand

2. Is it just limited to badge engineering a single product ie the Hector? : MG/SAIC India have built up the brand on the perception of Britishness and history. The point that I am trying to stress is that this is not just about one car (like the Dacia Duster or even the Dacia Logan). No it goes way beyond that and the entire company and its suite of future products is based on the hard sell of its British pedigree. Which is honestly untrue. The brand was dead for years with no link at all between what MG stood for and what SAIC are building now. If it were the case that Baojun 530/Wuling Almaz was a product where MG had some collaboration with SAIC and it were a one off case of badge engineering, I'd be ok with the image of Britishness they are projecting. But the entire portfolio of SAIC India including future cars are going to be marketed as British and that does not sit right with me.

Summary : The closest parallel of what SAIC is doing that I can think of, is with another brand that's very close to us Indians. A few years ago Kraft purchased Cadbury's including the rights to all its brands. The iconic Dairy Milk had its recipe changed and I've seen a fair few complain about the Kraft-Cadbury Dairy Milk - because it's just not the same anymore. The only difference between that case and SAICs is that the British know their homegrown chocolate manufacturer has been bought over (it was a hostile bid too, if memory serves me right) and there's thus a bit of negativity towards the Americanized products.

Us Indians don't know about the MG history at all (at least most of us don't) and we're thus being misadvertised to.

This is not just an ownership change. I'll give another example using football here. Think of Manchester United or Liverpool under American ownership (where the brand has changed hands but the structure of the club is unchanged) versus Manchester City or PSG under Emirati owners (where only the club name is unchanged and everything else is different).

Also to clarify, I'd have said the same thing if SAIC was Indian or German or whatever, and this has nothing to do with them being Chinese. Five years down the line their products will have made or broken their company and not the brand. Perhaps I'll then look back at their initial brand building exercise in a more favorable light. But not now, because right now all they have is a homegrown Chinese product masquerading as a British one

Last edited by digitalnirvana : 24th July 2019 at 21:35.
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Old 24th July 2019, 21:36   #14
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

In the age of the internet, any person who has done a bit of research knows that MG is owned by SAIC. The automotive industry is a global one and with R&D getting more expensive, many companies have grown through acquisition. It is the product that matters, not the country of origin.

I hope it is not prejudice against Chinese products that has brought this thread. Let's not take the debate on a political level. There are so many examples many other brands doing the same:
1. Jawa motorcycles are sold by Mahindra
2. Sail, Cruze and Spark sold by Chevy. Did we care whether these were S Korean product from Daewoo?
3. Duster, Logan and Lodgy sold by a French company but were designed by a Romanian brand.
4. Tavera was a badge engineered Isuzu product. Did we slam Chevy for selling us a Japanese product marketed by an American brand?

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 24th July 2019 at 21:39.
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Old 24th July 2019, 21:37   #15
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Default re: Is MG alias SAIC fooling prospective buyers by selling a Chinese car as "British"?

Hector is a re-badged MG. Even in Thailand it does not come under the MG brand portfolio.


https://mgcars.com/en/mg-models/mgzs/detail/overview
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