Karachi: MG Pakistan, a prominent player in the country’s automotive industry aims to introduce two new variants of its popular models, the MG HS Excite and 2.0 AWD, in a bid to further strengthen its market presence and cater to evolving consumer preferences.
As part of their expansion strategy, MG Pakistan is also turning its focus towards the sedan segment, which currently holds a substantial 45% market share.
Asif Ahmed, General Manager Marketing Division, expressed optimism about the potential of the sedan market and revealed that their first sedan offering for Pakistani consumers might be the MG GT, a 1600 CC Sedan car.
Following the remarkable success of the MG C-SUVs, with over 15 thousand units sold in the last two and a half years, MG Pakistan sees great potential in the sedan category, as well as in other C and D SUVs.
Key to MG Motors’ vision is the localization of high-value parts to enhance competitiveness within the domestic market and explore potential export opportunities. While the company currently relies on imported parts due to its greenfield status, it aims to seek partnerships with global manufacturers to enable the local production of high-tech components, which will further contribute to the growth of Pakistan’s auto industry.
Amidst the prevailing economic situation, MG Motors remains positive about Pakistan’s automotive potential.
Asif Ahmed noted that Auto industry has always shown ‘V’ type recovery and indicated a promising and prosperous market in the near future.
MG Pakistan majority share holder Shanghai Motor International Limited (SMIL) have expressed a long-term commitment to the Pakistani market. As the fourth Knock Down (KD) plant globally, the MG plant in Pakistan represents a significant $100 million investment, reaffirming the company’s dedication to the country.
Currently, the MG plant has an annual production capacity of 25,000 vehicles. However, due to the impact of the economic situation, the monthly output has been limited to 400 cars.
Speaking about the difference between locally assembled MG vehicles, Asif Ahmed highlighted that the locally assembled MG HS Essence offers the same build quality and specifications as the MG HS Exclusive CBU.
MG Pakistan aims to maintain global standards and specifications for its clients, setting the brand apart from other local manufacturers.
Asif Ahmed emphasized that MG is the only company in Pakistan with Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV), and Electric Vehicles (EV) in its lineup. He stressed the importance of a stable and long-term robust auto policy with a focus on New Energy Vehicles for Pakistan’s automotive industry.
Regarding the current industry trends and sales volumes, Asif Ahmed attributed the situation to economic turmoil and historic interest rates, resulting in price increases due to PKR devaluation, which has occurred in the past as well.
To transform into a vehicle export market, Pakistan must forge global partnerships for the production of high-value and high-tech auto parts. As the country has historically produced low-value auto parts, becoming competitive is essential for entering the export market. The potential for attracting Chinese investment in the Pakistani automobile sector is high, as Chinese companies are increasingly setting up production facilities outside China to export their vehicles.
Historically, the Pakistani market offered limited options to consumers, but with the entry of new players like MG, customers now have access to various quality options and enhanced features and warranties.
MG is part of SAIC, the number one Chinese and the sixth-largest global automobile group, which encompasses several well-known automotive brands. With a legacy spanning 99 years as a notable British brand, MG stands as a significant joint venture between SAIC and local partners, with the SMIL holding a 51% stake and the local share at 49%, indicating their long-term commitment to the Pakistani market.
Asif Ahmed proudly highlighted the industry benchmarks set by MG, offering features such as 6 airbags, Auto Pilot, Lane Assistance, Traffic Jam Assistance, and an impressive 150,000 warranty for their customers. He expressed the desire for healthy competition among Pakistani automobile players, where the focus is on providing the best options and features to benefit consumers and not just the sellers.