MG Back in South Africa
AFFORDABLE LUXURY BRAND MG BACK IN FORCE
JOHANNESBURG, June Xth - It has been nearly two years since the return of the iconic British brand MG to South African shores. Its initial offering comprised mainly of the MG6 fastback and sedan models, but the range is set to expand significantly in the near future.
While MG is owned by the Chinese automotive giant SAIC (Shanghai Automobile Industry Corporation), its South African activities are known as Mandarin Motors, and fall under Combined Motor Holdings (CMH). Mandarin Motors encompasses both Maxus, on the commercial side, and MG on the passenger side. Despite its Chinese ownership, MG is still very much a British company, especially in terms of design and engineering; and some production is still carried out in Britain. Locally, the company is headquartered in Northriding, Randburg.
During the previous two years, MG has built a comprehensive dealer network, which currently stands at 15 dealers spread across South Africa. East London, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Umhlanga, Nelspruit, Rustenburg, Kimberley, Upington and Cape Town all already host MG dealers, and there are plans in place to further expand the network.
As the dealer network has expanded, so too has the management at MGSA. Craig Lanham-Love has been appointed as the Chief Operating Officer of Mandarin Motors, which incorporates both MG and Maxus. Mandarin Motors is CMH’s motor vehicle and importation distribution division, with Derrick Bishop taking charge as General Manager. Lanham-Love comes with a wealth of experience in the importation and distribution business, primarily in the leisure industry incorporating Husqvarna, Sea-doo, Can-am and Evinrude to name a few of the many brands under the CMH Marine and Leisure stable. Having joined the navy, his professional career started in Durban, before he relocated to Johannesburg to head up Waterworld. When CMH acquired Waterworld from Sorza in 20XX, Lanham-Love was appointed as the CEO of the newly form CMH Marine and Leisure, with Mandarin Motors joining the stable in 2011.
Derrick Bishop is well-known in the motor industry, having held senior management positions at Nissan South Africa for approximately 18 years. Husband and wife team Alan and Terry Horseman, both also well-known in the industry, are Executive Directors of Mandarin Motors, while another motor industry stalwart, Lionel Hillary, heads up Dealer Development.
With the company poised to launch its next generation of vehicles in South Africa, MG has taken the decision to appoint Outlook Africa to handle its Public and Media relations for both the Maxus and MG brands. South Africans can look forward to the arrival of the MG3 later this year, with at least two new products joining the line-up in 2014.
The MG3 is MG’s brand new challenger. The first of the new vehicles will be rolling off MG’s plant shortly, with a local launch planned for the last quarter of 2013. The new vehicle will initially only be available with a four-cylinder petrol engine, mated to a five-speed manual transmission. More models will be added to the range in due course.
Until the arrival of the MG3, MGSA is focussing on its established MG6, which is available in both fastback and sedan versions. With prices starting at only R239,900 for the 1.8T Comfort model, the MG6 represents true value in a luxury package. Included in the price is 1 year AA Roadside Assistance, a service plan for 3years 90,000 km. The vehicle comes with an 3 year 100,000 km warranty.. An impressive service interval of 24,000 km applies to all MG6 models.