SAIC Wants Access to GM's UK Dealer Network

General Motors is negotiating with its Chinese partner Shanghai Automotive (SAIC) to sell new MGs developed in China through GM's UK dealer network.

"We have agreed in an MOU that we would discuss the potential for MG to be distributed in the UK," said Kevin Wale, president and managing director for GM's China operations. "And that's what we are doing at the moment."

However, Wale said that no discussions have been held on sharing GM's dealer network in North America as well.

If the UK dealer network deal is completed, it would mark another milestone in the 13 year partnership between SAIC and GM, and would make SAIC the only Chinese auto manufacturer to sell its vehicles through a partner's overseas dealer network.

SAIC took over MG Rover's Longbridge plant in Birmingham after a merger with Nanjing Automobile Group in late 2007. The Chinese manufacturer plans to start assembly of the new MG6 hatchback in the 10,000-unit Longbridge plant by the end of 2010.

The MG6 would be sold through 40 dealers that currently sell the MG roadster since sales of the Birmingham assembled model began in 2007-2008. Another 20 dealers are "are looking to come on board in the next few months" according to the sales and marketing director, Guy Jones.

A sports sedan MG6 variant is expected to be launched during 2011 and eventually a "new product", possibly a small car based on the Zero concept, will follow. The dealer network would be expanded to deal with the expected volume.
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