Multi-brand distributorship Eurokars Group will distribute China-owned UK brand MG here, focusing on electric vehicles (EV)
Multi-brand automotive group Eurokars Group announced today that it has been appointed the official distributor of MG cars in Singapore, with a dealership agreement signed on October 14, 2019.
MG is still based in the UK, although like Jaguar, Land Rover and Lotus, is no longer British-owned – its parent company is Chinese conglomerate SAIC.
One of the EVs MG will sell here in Singapore – the ZSEV crossover
It’s clear Eurokars has its sights on the forthcoming electric vehicle (EV) market here, the name of its new subsidiary that holds the distributorship, Eurokars EV Pte Ltd, makes this clear enough.
The company’s official statement spells it out just as clearly: “Eurokars EV Pte Ltd will focus on retailing electric vehicles (EVs) for Eurokars Group in the long term.”
File Photo: Mr Karsono Kwee, above, second from the right, at Porsche’s Charity Gala Dinner last year
“The ultimate aim is to offer the full range of MG models to car buyers in Singapore. We believe that the brand will be a viable motoring choice of the future among individuals who are environmentally conscious about their carbon footprint and unbound by conventions,” said Mr Karsono Kwee, Executive Chairman of Eurokars Group, in an official statement.
“Indeed, Eurokars Group sees the growing demand and popularity of electric vehicles, and believes that there is immense potential for sustainable mobility in Singapore.While some brands within Eurokars Group’s portfolio are introducing EVs already, such as the upcoming Porsche Taycan and Mini Electric, we are confident that this strategic tie-up with SAIC, coupled with MG’s strong EV vehicle model pipeline, will help Eurokars Group to build a strong foothold in the fast-growing EV market, and future-proof and diversify our suite of product offerings,” said Mr Kwee.
Eurokars also distributes Mazda, McLaren, Mini, Porsche, and Rolls-Royce in Singapore.
This development is the latest in a forthcoming wave of Chinese EVs that are set to increase their presence in Singapore. Earlier this year, Chinese EV maker BYD found a distributor inVantage Automotive, and Geely-owned EV brand Geometry partnered up with Singapore-based Hong Seh Motors for its regional distributorship.
The MG showroom will be located on Leng Kee Road, though the exact location is yet to be revealed, and the first MG cars will be on sale here at the end of 2019, in late December.
The initial line-up will consist of four cars: the MG HS, MG ZS and MG EZS, as well as the MG5 EV, and it looks very on-point since it comprises of two crossovers and two EVs (scroll down for more info on each model).
Final specs for Singapore are not confirmed at the moment, listed here are the versions seen in other markets, chiefly the UK, which is the most relevant right-hand drive market.
Pricing information is not available yet, but it’s safe to assume that as a Chinese brand, MG cars will be offered at a lower price point than extant Korean and Japanese competitors.
So far MG’s tack seems to be working in its home market of the UK, where it says its aim is to “Focus on what matters most: selling well-designed cars at a great price and delivering excellent customer service along the way.”
There, its sales reached 9,049 in 2018, has enjoyed 22-months of increasing sales, and is on track to see a better result in 2019. One tactic to bolster customer confidence is a seven-year warranty, although it’s unknown if Singapore could see a similar situation.
MG is a UK-based automaker whose name will be familiar to old timers – the original name stands for ‘Morris Garages’ – as the brand was originally founded in 1924. It was bought over by another British brand, Rover, and became MG Rover, and subsequently changed hands numerous times, even being owned by BMW AG from 1994 to 2000. Eurokars has history here – it did distribute MG and Rover cars briefly from 1999.
By 2005 MG Rover was in receivership and taken over by what would eventually become state-sponsored Chinese carmaker SAIC Motor as we know it, in 2007, becoming MG Motor.
The MG 5 is a small family hatchback (there’s a sedan version, the MG GT) that’s around the same size as a Toyota Corolla offered overseas with a 1.5-litre petrol engine including both naturally-aspirated and turbocharged versions.
The EV model is confirmed for Singapore, but has only been revealed though the official photo shown here, which reveals it to be a station wagon variant. Rumours have it with an 113hp e-motor and range of approximately 300km.
The ZS is a small SUV that will compete with the likes of the Kia Stonic and Nissan Juke. The petrol versions include a 1.0-litre turbocharged engine with three cylinders making 111hp and 160Nm of torque, and can be paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
There’s also a 1.5-litre turbo model with 105hp, though in China it makes 120hp, but given the relative closeness of power outputs, it’s likely less relevant for Singapore.
The MG ZS EV is the electrically-powered version, touted by MG UK as ‘the first truly affordable family-friendly electric car’. It has a 44.5kWh lithium ion battery pack with a 105hp/353Nm electric motor. The battery pack is located in the floor of the vehicle, and allows for a claimed range of 260km. It’s equipped with CCS (combined charge system) the charging standard used in Singapore, which should allow for a home charge time of six to eight hours.
The MG HS is the brand’s newest car, a medium-sized sport utility vehicle (SUV) which is roughly the same size as a Nissan Qashqai and Mazda CX-5, it’s offered with 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre turbo engines abroad.
The UK variant is the 1.5-litre with 162hp and 250Nm of torque, and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox with decent performance figures on paper: 0-100km/h in 9.9 seconds and a top speed of 189km/h. It even offers (optional) advanced features such as adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist (steering, braking, acceleration assist), forward collision warning and other modern safety features.
In the UK, it’s touted as “an affordable luxury (for) new car buyers” and priced from GBP17,995, compared to GBP20,195 for the least expensive Nissan Qashqai – ten percent less.