In January 2023, the MG4 was a real commercial success. It has entered the top 5 in France, allowing itself to be ahead of well-known electric cars such as the Renault Twingo, the Peugeot e-2008 and even… the legendary Renault Zoé. We explain the reasons for this success, and why the MG4 could do a lot of harm to French manufacturers.
In January 2023, the MG4 stood in 5th place in the ranking of electric car sales in France. But that is not new, since the registration figures have already been known for a few days. Thus, we find in first place, the Dacia Spring, followed by the Fiat 500, the Renault Mégane E-Tech and the Peugeot e-208.
The arrival of the MG4 in the ranking is not a surprise in itself: in December 2022, it appeared, directly in 10th place! But how did this car, still totally unknown to the general public, manage to climb into the top 5? And above all, how does it intend to stay in this ranking and scrape market share from French manufacturers?
Why does the MG4 sell so well in France?
To the first question, the answer is extremely simple: thanks to its price. The MG4 is a compact sedan type electric car (segment C) which cost “only” 28,900 euros when it was launched. Or 22,900 euros once the ecological bonus has been deducted. This is the first time that an electric sedan has been so affordable in France.
Opposite her, the electric Renault Mégane is sold much more expensive. We can also mention the Peugeot e-208, which is more expensive, and above all part of the B segment. In short, you have understood it, the MG4 is one of the cars with the best quality / price ratio at the moment. Or almost. Because we must also count the Dacia Spring, on the A segment, much less versatile, and the Tesla Model 3, on the D segment, much more expensive.
If you diligently follow the news of electric cars, you must not have missed the price increase of the MG4, decided at the very beginning of the year 2023. This is quite low, but coupled with the reduction in the bonus , we are facing a net increase of 2,000 euros. Except for households eligible for the 7,000 euro bonus, for whom the price of the car does not change.
How will the MG4 continue to sell so well in France?
The answer to the second question is also quite simple. The electric car market is booming, but new products are coming in dribs and drabs. We don’t have crystal balls, but we still know more or less the list of electric cars expected for 2023. And none seem to be able to overshadow the excellent quality / price ratio of the MG4.
Even Chinese manufacturers, such as BYD, did not come to Europe with a price positioning as aggressive as MG with its new electric compact. And yet, MG promises that he manages to make money with his MG4 in Europe.
Tesla Model 3 versus MG4
However, Tesla managed to put some sticks in the wheels of MG. With the recent price drop of Model 3 and Model Y all over the world, Elon Musk’s firm has hit hard, very hard even. Tesla’s two affordable electric cars have become much cheaper than a few months ago, with a drop of more than 13,000 euros taking into account the effect of the ecological bonus.
If before you had to add almost 30,000 euros to go from an MG4 to a Tesla Model 3, the difference is now only about 15,000 euros. A big difference again, but largely reduced, which could tip the balance of some potential buyers.
The MG4 production problem
The other problem for MG is the production capacity of its parent company, SAIC in China. MG4s are all produced in Asia, and MG does not have the same production capabilities as Tesla. Flooding the market over time with MG4s should be a tricky exercise. Indeed, MG plans to sell 20,000 cars in France in 2023, compared to more than 13,000 in 2022 (including 1,570 MG4s), i.e. a delta of only 7,000 cars.
In 2023, MG will therefore be limited in terms of sales, and will not be able to beat French and European competitors. For example, Peugeot managed to sell more than 19,000 e-208s in 2022, when the Dacia Spring sold 18,326 copies. On the Tesla side, there were 17,000 Model 3s and 11,892 Model Ys. The 20,000 sales expected by MG in 2023 will be broken down into six different models.
In short, MG has hit hard with its MG4, and should continue to dominate some aging electric cars like the Renault Zoé or the Renault Twingo. But it will not be able to replace its more recent competitors in France. At least not in 2023, mainly because of its production capacities.
It’s a shame, since in 2023, the Chinese manufacturer will market two new variants of the MG4: one with a long range, and another very sporty.
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