The largest automotive company in China, SAIC Motor, has announced it has established an Australian subsidiary that represents "a vital opportunity in strengthening connections and cooperation between the Australian and Chinese automotive industries".
The new subsidiary, SAIC Motor Australia, is said to signify "the ignition of a new era of growth for the company", with one of the main stepping stones to be the re-establishment of famed British-cum-Chinese brand, MG (Morris Garages).
The MG brand was launched in Australia amid much fanfare back in 2013, but limited marketing reach meant that many vehicles went unsold - and had, for some time, been believed to be non-compliant with Australian design standards. The company has confirmed, however, that the vehicles are indeed compliant.
A spokesperson for the brand told CarAdvice this week that all of the vehicles previously held at its Parramatta Road site in Sydney have been sold to retailers and "many are now finding their way" to new owners.
The re-launch of MG was initially believed to be penned in for early this year, but that clearly hasn't come to fruition.
SAIC, as the parent brand of MG, will obviously look to the MG marque to establish a meaningful presence in the market, with the local subsidiary aiming to establish "a strong, profitable and sustainable Australian retail network" for MG.
"We are proud to announce the formation and opening of our subsidiary in Australia, which delivers against our strategic plan for expanding our business in the Oceania region," said Zhu Chao, general manager of SAIC Motor Australia.
"We have found that the ambitions of Australia closely reflect the vision of our company, which is to be innovative, globally recognised and focused on pioneering for the future," Chao said.
"We see strong growth opportunities in Australia for our portfolio of brands which are proving to be highly desirable to consumers not only in our home market of China but globally in markets include the UK, ASEAN, Middle East, South America and North America," he said.
The company is ranked 46th on the Fortune Global 500 list, and it has repeatedly stated that it aims to become "an internationally recognised company that pioneers the future of automotive, energy and transport".
While only the MG 6 was brought to Australia - and, according to a release from SAIC Australia, there's a new MG 6 doing the rounds with Variety, The Children's Charity - it is expected that the brand will see new models as part of its revamped local mix, likely including the MG GS compact SUV (top image), and the MG 3 light car (below).
According to the company's public relations agency, Dec PR, an announcement on the full line-up of MG models to come "in October".
"The range will then be on sale through initial group of dealers prior to the end of the year, while SAIC works to continue to expand the network into 2017," a spokesperson said.
Henderson said that SAIC Australia will be focused on MG, and that there will be "no impact on existing distribution or retail network" for SAIC's commercial vehicle brand LDV, which will continue to be imported and distributed by Ateco Automotive.