excluded from the bonus, China’s MG cuts its French sales estimates in half

Sledgehammer. ” If France did not remove the bonus, I would present a plan for 60,000 cars sold this year » laments Julien Robert, MG Motor Sales and Network Director France. But in the end, it was the target of 30,000 units sold in France for 2024 that was put on display at the presentation of the wishes of MG, a brand belonging to the Chinese automobile group SAIC.

This is less than the 34,441 cars registered in France this year. And this downward target is largely explained by the cancellation of the environmental bonus, from 5,000 euros to 7,000 euros for the purchase of an electric vehicle, due to the production of MG in China. ” We estimate a 30% drop in our electricity sales due to the end of the bonus “, confirmed Julien Robert.

Electric car: excluded from new environmental bonus, Chinese manufacturer MG cuts prices

Especially since this judgment entails the impossibility of being part of the social leasing that the government has started since the beginning of the year. However, the vast majority of orders in January came from this system, according to all manufacturers benefiting from it. ” The market does not restart, there is vagueness that blocks customers, ” explains Julien Robert. And for good reason, the decree on the new bonus, which would decrease the wealthiest households by 1,000 euros, has still not been published.

“MG saw 1,200 orders in January”, he added. This is not much, knowing that a month earlier, the Chinese manufacturer received more than 8,000 orders, mainly associated with the bonus change that made people buy, and around 4,000 in the current month of 2023.

Hybrid engines to ensure sales

This falling target is all the more surprising given that the Chinese brand has made rapid progress since arriving in France three years ago. It saw a 161.5% increase in sales in 2023 and plans to expand, opening 200 dealerships by 2024, up from 152 today.

In addition, MG will launch a hybrid city car called the MG3 next June, and is introducing hybrid versions of two of its existing models, the ZS and EHS, from the end of 2024. We are developing the hybrid to ensure sufficient volumes in 2024 and gain market share “, explains Julien Robert. Currently, MG has a 9% share of the electric market in France and ranks 5th among brands in France with this engine, behind Tesla, Renault, Dacia and Peugeot.

However, the late arrival of these new models is delaying new orders and explains MG’s low target for 2024. Especially since the hybrid is really only a transition for MG to introduce new electric cars on the French market in 2025.” in C, D and station wagon segments “, detailed Julien Robert. The small electric city car should not arrive until later, certainly when the factory is up and running in Europe.

A factory in Europe to come

Because the Chinese brand now wants to establish itself on the old continent. ” It is mandatory when we reach 300,000 cars sold in Europe to reduce logistics costs “, explains Julien Robert. The date of commencement of work and the location have not yet been announced.

We are open to all possibilities, whether in Eastern or Western Europe “. The only clue so far: the factory will not be in England, where the brand currently has its design center.” We don’t want to be on the European border and they have super high duty ».

BYD, China’s electric car champion, opens its first European factory in Hungary

MG’s caution contrasts with urgent announcements by BYD, its Chinese rival, which also wants to conquer Europe. Much less established on the continent, the electric giant, which overtook Tesla in the last quarter, confirmed its establishment in Hungary in a press release this morning. ” It will be open and operational within three years », Specify the group. But MG claims that it is not afraid of the arrival of this competitor. ” In two to three years, when they build their network and brand image, it will be a very serious competitor », the Chinese brand added, saying that “ just because they announced the factory doesn’t mean it will be built before us “.

Until then, MG is extending a €7,000 discount on its vehicles until February 23 to attract new customers and limit losses linked to the withdrawal of the environmental bonus.