Guys, I’m aware that I owe you a follow-up story to the MG saga. If you recall, I wrote on May 29 that the outgoing Philippine distributor of MG—The Covenant Car Company Inc.—would release a statement that week. Well, a week (and even more than a month) passed by and you didn’t read anything from me. That was because—as I said in my column today in The Philippine Star—“there was no story to be written.”
From the column:
Tomorrow, July 20, TCCCI’s five-year contract with SAIC for its MG stewardship will be over. Obviously, the agreement will not be renewed. So, yes, the long-running rumor about SAIC entering our market to handle the MG brand is indeed true. But we have to qualify that communiqué: There is nothing negative about it. Sad, definitely, but nothing out of the ordinary. Just the end of a contract. Nothing more, nothing less.
But readers have something to say about the matter. Just check out the comments here.
In the middle of the story between MG and TCCCI is, of course, SAIC Motor Philippines, the Chinese automaker that owns MG and is the reason TCCCI is not renewing its contract to handle MG in our market.
This afternoon, the newly appointed marketing manager of SAIC Motor Philippines, Che Cabotaje, sent me a message telling me that they were distributing an official press release tomorrow presumably to introduce their company to the media. Cabotaje, who used to work for Honda and Subaru, included a teaser photo (see above) with his message.
“I would like to share this with you for now,” he told me. “We’ll have a media launch by early Q4 this year.”
I asked him if I could share this news with our readers. He said yes.
Referring to the car in the photo, he added: “Coming soon to MG showrooms near you.”
He continued: “We have an event tonight for dealer partners and bank partners. We’ll give the formal announcement about SAIC operations, as well as a preview of the upcoming cars.”
“Can you give me the identities of the cars?” I inquired.
“All EVs,” he replied. “One hatchback and two SUVs.”
He then sent another photo.
We looked them up on the Internet, and found their names (which Cabotaje later confirmed):
- MG Marvel R
- MG 4
- MG ZS EV
“Where is your office?” I pried.
“In Bonifacio Global City,” he answered.
“Your formal introduction to the media will take place exactly when?” I pushed my luck further.
“Around October,” he stated.
And that is my short anecdote about SAIC Motor Philippines. We’ll tell you more if the official press release tomorrow has meatier info.