MG Motor UK Q2 market report

MG Motor UK Q2 market report

Richard Colby looks at MG's role in an increasingly EV-led market

The motor trade finally began to return to normal after showrooms reopened, in Scotland on 5 April and across the rest of the UK on 12 April, following the third national lockdown. Prior to the reopening, click and collect and home delivery services had helped keep sales going and enabled UK new car registrations to increase by 11.5% in March 2021, compared to the same month last year. Registrations in April and May showed huge percentage gains over the same months in 2020, when the country was in the grip of the first lockdown, while June 2021 registrations were within 20% of pre- Covid-19 figures for June 2019.

Alternatively-fuelled vehicles continue to grow in popularity with registrations of plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and battery-only electric vehicles (BEVs) increasing by 197% and 138% respectively in the first 6 months of 2021. Diesel-powered car registrations fell by over 21% in the same period but petrol car sales increased by nearly 13%, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The huge increase in demand for BEVs is now being reflected in the SMMT’s list of top ten-selling cars in the UK. The Tesla Model 3 topped the list in June while the Vauxhall Corsa was the overall number one seller for the first 6 months of 2021.

Part of the small Vauxhall’s success was the Corsa-e, which was the best-selling small BEV in the UK for the year to June 2021 and currently represents 11% of all current-generation Corsas sold to date.

While the success of the Corsa BEV model is bad news for the Fiesta, which had been the best-selling car in the UK for the past 12 years, it signals healthy potential demand for small electric cars. This could be good news for the forthcoming ‘Polo-sized’ electric MG model. This new MG BEV supermini is anticipated in European markets this autumn (see MGE August 2021 News) although a UK market launch date has yet to be confirmed. Meanwhile the MG3, which was originally launched in the UK in October 2013, passed a landmark 20,000 UK registrations in March 2021.

MG Motor UK is currently aiming for 50% of all UK MG registrations to be EV models and recently appointed a new advertising agency with a brief to position MG as a challenger to the major UK car companies. The new ‘MG — Get More’ marketing campaign began in April 2021, together with a £750 discount promotion on MG’s EV models.

MG monthly registrations increased from 2146 in April to 2453 in May and 2834 in June. The Chinese-owned marque has seen registrations increase 76% overall in the first six months of 2021, compared to last year. This gave MG 1.5% of the UK car market, matching Mazda’s figures and moving MG ahead of Jaguar and Honda, amongst others. On a historical note, MG models last took around 1.5% of the UK market in 2004, during the heyday of the original Z-cars.

MG Motor UK is aiming for 50% of all registrations to be EV models.

The MG3 recently passed 20,000 UK registrations since its launch in October 2013.

UK MG registrations grew throughout Q2 2021.

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