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Executives from MG’s parent company, SAIC, have defended the MG 3 and MG 6’s sub-standard ANCAP safety rating, stating the models are safe as they are.

Speaking to media at the Australian launch of the new LDV G10 turbo-diesel van, Chinese executives said that their market research into the Australian market suggested buyers would still be accepting of the MG 3’s three-star and MG 6’s four-star safety rating, but also conceded that the company is working as fast as it can to improve those scores.

Asked if the Chinese-owned brand would’ve been better to wait until it could achieve five stars before entering our market, Xiaodong Yang, SAIC’s executive director of international business, told CarAdvice that he believed the decision was sound – at the time.

“To be frank, when we considered our market strategy [for Australia] we consulted a third party for that advice. As you will appreciate, we hired one of the most credible automotive consulting companies in the world, [and] we also compared notes with ourselves in the UK, [where] we have growth [of] 30 per cent, per annum.” Yang said.

“Even up to this date, MG 3 and 6 have been sold in UK. In our perception, UK market expectations, we thought, were comparable to Australia in terms of safety standards.

“Comparing notes with our sales in UK, we designed these products to test the water. Looking back, it may not be optimal market strategy, but [again], looking back, it may have been a good balance to enter the market.”

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According to Yang, the benefit of having relaunched here when it did, was that the brand had a head-start in better understanding the Australian market requirements, now seeking to adapt its next generation of products for our needs.

“Obviously as a motor company, we are trying to catch up and better comply with the regulation and safety standards. We are aiming to improve our safety standards along the way,” Lan Qingsong, vice President of SAIC Motor Corp, said.

“Certainly we are doing our utmost in terms of whatever model, MG 3 or LDV, we have full confidence to meet rigorous standards like ANCAP five-star.

“We as a motor company, or from a dealer perspective, or from a consumer perspective, we share the same interest because we want to have a really good-quality car, so we can boost our bottom line and better our brand image.

“It’s all about time, it all comes to time when you enter a certain market… we are confident, with the launch of our next generation, we are confident we can meet your demands and customer requirements.”

The brand says for now it will focus primarily on delivering value for money and leveraging the brand’s heritage. In the long term, with future models such as SUVs and other passenger vehicles, MG hopes to capture 2-3 percent of the Australian marketshare by the end of 2021.

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