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SAIC prepares European launch of MG and MAXUS with e-LCV

SAIC Motor Corporation, the largest Chinese car manufacturers and automotive groups, is about to set foot on the European continent. In 2019/2020, it will (re)launch the former British brand MG in Europe and around the same time, SAIC will also bring the commercial vehicle brand MAXUS, formerly known as LDV, back to Europe.

However, to create brand awareness with large corporate fleets, SAIC will already launch a full-electric LCV model from now on.

SAIC is the largest of the 172 car manufacturers in China. “We produce more than 6.5 million vehicles each year”, says Pieter Gabriels, Managing Director of SAIC Mobility Europe. About three million cars are produced for GM, two million for Volkswagen and 1.5 million for domestic brands like the Roewe and MG brands.

Global expansion
SAIC is for a large part state-owned and it is with the support of and also on demand of the Chinese government that SAIC is preparing its entrance in Europe. Pieter Gabriels: “What Huawei and Lenovo have done respectively in the telecommunication and the IT industry, the government supports us and the Geely Group (owner of Volvo) to do in the automotive space. We are driven to expand the Chinese automotive activities and expertise in Europe and those parts of the world where we are not yet present.”

“The advantage that we have over other Chinese brands that previously tried expanding to the rest of the world, is that SAIC is a sizeable and well-established brand with a strong historical and financial background. Moreover, already today we export vehicles, like the 100 percent electric Maxus LCV, to markets like Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and Latin America. Our brand and our models enjoy a reputation of great reliability. Maxus will be introduced in 2019/2020 as a complete LCV brand, with a brand new model and various body dimensions with different heights and lengths and multiple powertrains, amongst which of course 100% EV.”

Talking about that full electric LCV, Pieter Gabriels explains that SAIC is currently introducing the vehicle with a direct but low-profile approach to the 200 largest corporate fleets in Europe. “Those fleets not only have a large number of vehicles, their company strategy is one where securing business processes and care for the environment is extremely important.” In this way, SAIC is paving the way for the Maxus brand introduction in 2019/2020 and creating brand awareness. “This is essential, as we know that Europeans are very attached to their LCV brands. For me and my team it will be paramount to get across the USPs of our brand and our model.”

The full electric LCV will have an autonomy of 204 km, and a warranty scheme of five years for the battery and three years for the mechanical part. The vehicle can be charged in normal and fast mode, both with AC and DC. Financially speaking, Pieter Gabriels mentions that the price tag will be very attractive: “For a comparable electric commercial vehicle, retrofitters have a price setting of 70,000 to 80,000 euros. Our electric LCV will be priced at 45.000 euros. This means that in terms of TCO, our model is very close, not to say equal, to diesel-powered LCVs.” 

Picture copyright: SAIC, 2017.

15/06/2017  |  Steven Schoefs


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