The story is almost a year old but is news to me.
MG cars no longer available in SA | IOL
MG cars and Maxus commercial vehicles will no longer be available in South Africa after local importer Combined Motor Holdings (CMH) pulled the plug on the brands.
MG is currently owned by Chinese carmaker SAIC, which resurrected the historic British brand after MG Rover declared bankruptcy in 2005. It continues to produce a full range of products in China, but they will no longer be imported to SA as CMH believes the weakness of the rand makes it unfeasible.
In an interview with IOL's sister publication Business Report, CMH chief executive Jeb McIntosh said that the last units imported into the country had already been sold and that the company would continue to support existing owners as far as parts supply, warranty and service back-up are concerned.
MG marketed the MG3
compact hatchback and MG6
hatchback and sedan ranges in South Africa, with the 1.5-litre MG3 having retailed at between R159 900 and R210 000 and the MG6 1.8-litre turbo having sold in the R249 900 - R309 900 range. Maxus
sold the V80 van and drop-side range for between R299 000 and R410 000.
The currency would not have allowed the company to sustain these prices, with McIntosh predicting that SA vehicle prices will rise by between 12 percent and 15 percent this year.
It is likely that the currency and consequent pricing woes were simply the final nail in the coffin of a line-up that was hardly in great demand to start with although actual sales figured were not provided.
As far as we're concerned it's also a symptom of a market that has simply become overly fragmented, with too many vehicle brands competing for what is, by global standards, a rather small pie.
For what it's worth, we would prefer to remember the MG brand for what it was in its heyday last century.