SAIC To Rebrand IM Lineup As MG Models For Export Sales

More pertinently is for these newly-rebranded MG models to likely make it over here to Malaysia. 

While MG has already established its dominance as the top exporter of cars from China for five consecutive years now, it would nevertheless seem that this lead may soon just grow in the future. Such is because aside from its already rather decent offerings now, its parent company SAIC has reportedly planning to also stick this once-British branding onto some models from its IM (which incidentally stands for Innovation in Motion) subsidiary for sale in foreign markets. 

The rebranding of IM models as MGs has allegedly been floated by SAIC in order to capitalise on the latter’s brand recognition to strengthen the former’s sales, with its sub-40,000 units delivered last year a paltry figure next to its Nio and XPeng rivals. The Chinese auto conglomerate is apparently also aiming for the more high-end offerings of IM’s to fill a gap in MG’s current more middle-class model lineup. 

Now for those who are perhaps unfamiliar with IM, this marque was born from the collaboration between SAIC and Alibaba Group. Aimed to serve as an alternative to Tesla and Nio, this higher-end EV manufacturer currently has a four model lineup that ranges from encompasses the Model S-rivalling L7 sedan, the Model Y-mimicking LS6 mid-sized crossover, the LS7 large e-SUV and the soon-to-debut Seal-counterpart L6 mid-sized four-door fastback.

As expected from a Chinese EV company, especially of the higher-end variety, all four of these IM models offer impressive power and range figures for a reasonable price, not to mention too a boat load of tech (and its signature half steering wheel) within their somewhat blobby silhouettes. Another more interesting point to note regarding this subsidiary of SAIC is for Audi to be looking into using its IO platform as a basis for the German automaker’s next-generation of all-electric offerings in China. 

Reports of this rebranding effort have not indicated which of these IM models will be the first to gain the MG rebadging treatment, but suggests for all four in its current lineup to eventually be exported outside of China wearing that octagonal badge. It has further been asserted too that these IM MGs will make landfall first in Europe and South America, but there may also be a chance too that a Malaysian debut may be forthcoming as well to further pad out the upcoming local MG lineup. 

It is worth highlighting here however that SAIC has not officially confirmed these rumoured  IM rebadging efforts, though it will not be a surprising move for the Chinese auto conglomerate to make. This is especially when considering that the MG badge has already been rather frequently used to sell other models under its wider corporate umbrella in foreign markets, with its most recent efforts being for the Wuling Air mini EV to be rebadged as the MG Comet over in India. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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