France or Hungary? The Chinese producer MG chooses its European manufacturing unit | EUROtoday

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HAS Shanghai, the administration of MG Motors, which has belonged to the Chinese parapublic juggernaut Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) since 2007, is conserving quiet. The suspense stays as to the situation of its future European manufacturing unit. The automotive producer, previously British and recognized for its elegant sports activities coupes, is contemplating both taking up an industrial web site or constructing a brand new one.

Its counterpart BYD has already determined: it is going to be Hungary, the place it has already been manufacturing electrical buses since 2016. The founding father of Tesla rival Wang Chuanfu this week formalized the preliminary section of development of the positioning in Szeged.

This is the primary passenger car manufacturing unit of a Chinese producer on the Old Continent. Another Chinese big has opted for Hungary: CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited), world chief in batteries for electrical automobiles, which is constructing a second manufacturing unit within the nation, the primary being situated in Thuringia, Germany.

Extended supply occasions

MG Motors is predicted to unveil its location this yr. Time is beginning to run out. Firstly, since its return to Europe in March 2020, the century-old model has continued to extend its gross sales. Last yr, MG bought greater than 230,000 automobiles throughout the area, together with the UK. Models such because the MG4 sedan or the ZS SUV are made in China and supplied in Europe at costs that scare rivals.

Today, in keeping with specialists, the model would pay greater than 1,000 euros for transport to convey its automobiles by boat. A value that continues to extend with the closure of the Red Sea because of boarding by Houthi militants in Yemen.

“The boats waste three weeks circumnavigating Africa before arriving at the ports of Barcelona and Le Havre. This generates extended delivery times and costs, because the boats are sometimes immobilized without being able to unload,” agrees Julien Robert, gross sales director in France. MG additionally faces 10% customs duties to import into the European Union.

In addition, the Brussels Commission has launched an investigation into the beneficiant subsidies granted by the Chinese authorities to native producers, suspected of promoting at a loss. If its verdict is just not anticipated for a number of months, strain has elevated on producers linked to Beijing.

So many causes which encourage SAIC to have an industrial presence on the Old Continent. “In terms of logistics, a European factory is worth it from 300,000 to 400,000 cars,” explains Clément Lefèvre, MG public relations supervisor for France.

Beauty pageant

The magnificence contest between European nations with the Chinese administration of the SAIC subsidiary has subsequently begun. There are many names of great candidates circulating: France, which is attempting to push the difficulty of the electrical energy pole at the moment being established in Hauts-de-France; Spain, aggressive by way of prices; Germany, which already welcomes Tesla to Berlin.

In the East, we’re primarily speaking about Poland and Hungary, nations subsequently chosen by BYD. Following Brexit, the United Kingdom – the place MG bought its Longbridge manufacturing unit the place it nonetheless has a design workplace – doesn’t appear to have a lot probability. It nonetheless stays the main market within the area with 80,000 registrations final yr, in comparison with 34,000 in France, second.

The SAIC subsidiary is relying on 30,000 models bought in France for 2024. “If the country had not removed the ecological bonus, I would have presented a plan for 60,000 cars sold,” laments Julien Robert. To help gross sales, MG is providing reductions of seven,000 euros firstly of the yr.

Four new fashions are because of arrive within the coming weeks: the MG3 hybrid, which can be unveiled on the Geneva Motor Show on the finish of February, the ZS hybrid, the EHS plug-in hybrid SUV and the Cyberster sports activities convertible, which returns to the model's previous and needs to be priced round 60,000 euros.