SAIC’s MG to open second Europe parts centre by the summer

By Thomson Reuters Mar 14, 2024 | 10:20 AM

By Gilles Guillaume

PARIS (Reuters) – MG Motors, a unit of Chinese automaker SAIC, will open a second European parts centre by the summer of 2024 in France to meet the country’s growing demand for its vehicles, a spokesperson told Reuters on Thursday. MG, whose electric compact car MG4 was the 23rd best-selling car in France last year after just a year on the market, already has a central logistics centre in Amsterdam, which distributes parts spare parts throughout Europe. “Given the increase in rolling stock, we are planning to open a parts distribution centre in France, allowing faster availability of our parts in France,” the spokesperson said. The new European site will be operated by a partner near Lens, in Hauts-de-France, near the Belgian border. The company did not disclose the how much it would invest in the centre.

As well as finding ways to reach new customers, MG needs to focus on building out a car servicing network to strengthen loyalty, the MG spokesperson said. MG will also expand its dealer network in France to 200 outlets this year, from around 160 now, ensuring any MG customer is no more than 30 minutes from a sales and repair centre, the spokesperson said.

Apart from an aggressive price war shaking the EV sector, trade tensions are running high between China and the European Union, which is investigating whether Chinese EV makers benefit from unfair government subsidies.

SAIC is currently evaluating whether to build a factory in Europe.

Chinese EV maker BYD said in December it would build its first European plant in Hungary and the Italian government is holding talks with Chery Auto about the possibility of the Chinese firm manufacturing cars in the country, two sources told Reuters this week.

According to French auto consultancy Inovev, MG sold two out of three Chinese-made cars in Europe last year, with sales of 230,000 cars.

(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume, Writing by Nick Carey; Editing by Ros Russell)