If you’re one of the over 8,000 or so Pinoys who own an MG vehicle today, the story of the beginnings of the brand you ride may already take your breath away. This British-born marque didn’t just hit the ground running, it did so blindingly fast and stunningly elegantly.
Nine years after former sales clerk Cecil Kimber retired to his garage and gave birth to a re-tuned Morris car he fondly called “Old Number One” in 1924, the first speed record MG broke was in 1933 at the tough Mille Miglia race, where the MG K3 Magnette won the 1100cc class. In 1945, the MG TC and its tech-laden features took North America by storm, selling 2,000 units and heralding America’s love affair with British cars.
This “whirlwind” relationship that crossed the Atlantic would continue on to the ‘50s and ‘60s, when the gorgeous fixed-head coupe MGA would turn heads both at standstill and while being a blur at 176 kph, zooming into automotive history as among the greatest automobiles ever made. This was ably followed up by the open roadster MGB, Britain’s bestselling sports car that sold over half a million units between 1962 and 1980. Another MG classic considered also as one of the greatest cars ever made was the MGF produced between 1995 and 2005, and boasted an acceleration of 0 to 100 kph in just 7.9 seconds.
It was in the latter part of the first decade of the 2000s that MG earned its serious badge as a global auto manufacturing entity, when China’s largest auto manufacturer and exporter SAIC Motor International (SMIL) acquired the brand.
Along with this global presence continued MG’s heritage in unique auto designs. Just recently, MG’s Advanced London Design Studio expanded operations in the United Kingdom, where concepts in the future of mobility are now being explored by both young and veteran talents in design and engineering.
Tip of the iceberg
Thus, one can view MG’s fledgling 2-year presence in the Philippines as just the very tip of a humongous iceberg of an auto brand. And when you see the very top of this tip, you see that MG Philippines has put its best feet forward—the four MG models that are making their presence felt on local shores—the RX5 SUV, ZS Crossover, MG 5 Sedan, and MG 6 Fastback Sedan.
MG’s presence here can be credited to the efforts of The Covenant Car Company Inc (TCCCI), when, on Oct. 11, 2018 the company declared MG Philippines would start operations in 2019.
TCCCI, being veterans in the industry and known for bringing in globally renowned auto brands from the most economically powerful and car-centric nations, managed to land MG Philippines among the top 10 in auto industry sales after just nearly two years of operations. This feat has been made even more remarkable by the fact that MG Philippines was competing not only with the traditional leaders, but with a flurry of new players from all corners of the globe.
And so, MG’s dizzying winning streak continues from shore to shore. Not only does TCCCI get to inject our car-crazy culture with some serious British automobile heritage with the MG brand, it can now also offer the pricing sensibilities that only a Chinese-based manufacturing facility can offer. This combination has proven to be tested and successful, what with MG Philippines already notching 2,854 unit sales from January to September this year, 56 percent of which belongs to the versatile and stylish MG ZS Crossover SUV which has climbed to the top of the local 5-seater SUV-B segment. To date, the MG ZS has gotten well over 5,000 units sold.
The ease and convenience of buying enabled by an online platform can only make car purchases even more frenzied. On the occasion of MG Philippines’ second anniversary celebration held virtually on Oct. 20, the company revealed to motoring media that “no less than five new vehicle models and variants will be launched in 2021”.
Going over all its models and making the buying decision would be made much easier with MG Philippines’ online selling platform BuyAnMG.com, which will be available soon and would allow customers to purchase and reserve brand new MG vehicles via a secure online portal. Digital 360-degree walkthroughs of each MG model will give customers a closer look at their preferred vehicles, and live video chats can be conducted with sales consultants to discuss any product details, promo offers, and services.
MG Philippines’ second year has also been marked by pronounced growth in MG dealerships nationwide. Two years ago, MG started with 12 dealer partners. Today, there are 28 fully operational MG dealerships across the country. The expanded dealership network ensures that MG sales and aftersales services are readily accessible in more places around the Philippines. Furthermore, the total number of MG dealerships is expected to grow to 34 before 2020 comes to a close.
MG Philippines likewise introduced a host of new aftersales complements that make owning an MG simple and enjoyable. Aside from the company’s standard free 1-year PMS on all brand new MGs, and the 5-year or 100,000km (whichever comes first) vehicle warranty, new MG aftersales services include MG Live Chat Support Service, which allows customers to engage in web-based live chats with an MG consultant; the My MG App for easy PMS scheduling; MG Online Garage for online vehicle consultation and remote vehicle diagnosis over video chat; and MG Mobile Garage which allows customers to schedule home repair service on their MGs. These after-sales services also address the need to practice safety in the time of the CoViD-19 pandemic by adhering to social distancing recommendations and conducting remote sessions with MG consultants and technicians.
“As we drive towards our second year of representing the MG brand in the Philippines, we would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to everyone on this journey of growth for MG Philippines. It has been both fruitful and fulfilling,” said lawyer Alberto B. Arcilla, president and CEO of MG Philippines.
“At the onset of our appointment, it was our goal to introduce stylish, high value-for-money, attainable vehicles to the local motoring public, and we were fueled by the positive reception we have received from our principals, our dealer partners, esteemed motoring journalists, valued stakeholders, and of course our increasing loyal clients. The MG brand’s British heritage and design, and the skilled entrepreneurship and progressive thinking of our principals at SAIC Motor International (SMIL), matched with the personal and sincere desire of TCCCI to serve the Philippine motoring public has created a convergence of talent, with aspirations that we will continue through the years. We look forward to the continuous support and trust of SMIL as we contribute to their objective to be the fastest-growing global automotive brand and manufacturing company. The overall response to MG Philippines over the past two years has indeed been very encouraging. This provides us the optimism and drive to continue introducing exciting MG models that are recognized globally, which we will support with top-notch aftersales services so we can bring the MG brand, its models, and ownership experience closer to the Filipino motoring public,” he concluded.