Thailand

A negative post on MG cars by a Thai woman has highlighted a new age of global co-operation in selling the private car dream to a more prosperous Thailand

A famous British that has been synonymous with a boom in interest among Asians and Thais all things British is sparking some debate on social media lines in recent months. It started with a negative review posted by a Thai woman but ended with a look at a new age for how cars and are made and sold in Thailand.

MG car brand flourishes again in Thailand
A Thai woman’s problem with her new MG car has led to a debate on the brand which has begun to flourish again in Thailand. Recalling the glory days of British motoring and cool, the new modern MGs still come with some of the old trims and fashion sense. Designed by a team in the UK with parts manufactured in China, the new MG cars in Thai roads are assembled in Thailand. They already have a following among expats and foreigners in Thailand who are impressed by the competitive price and contemporary offering of an old brand. They are also a favourite among eager young Thai and women as the country becomes more prosperous.

The revival of MG, a famous British car brand that was once extremely well-known in Thailand, has been met with some notable success but also mixed reactions, mainly due to the nationality of the new owner of the brand, a Chinese company. Many foreign expats in Thailand and Thai nationals. Enthusiasts of British classic cars, are intrigued by reappearance of the MG car brand as a force on Thai roads. Since the rise of the Chinese economy twenty years ago when communism gave way to market forces, UK brands have emerged as a popular money spinner and opportunity as more prosperous Chinese and Asian consumers want to relive the dream of a more classic era. Among these brands has always been the MG car badge.

Thai woman takes to Facebook to complain about her MG car after the rain poured on her dream

A car is supposed to shelter the driver against the weather, but Ornuma, a 27-year-old Thai woman, found out that it is not always the case as her brand new car that she paid 800,000 baht for was always soaking wet whenever it rained. This was obviously a cause major discontent for the once proud owner of a new MG car. It was also a cause of concern to her as the car was equipped with a lot of electronic devices, which made the leakage far more dangerous. Her complaint took the form of a video posted on her Facebook page. The post went viral, partly because of the car brand is so famous. Her story was take by Thai news outlet Sanook and MG promised to respond to her problem. The ensuing debate drew  a surprising number of foreigners in Thailand to the defence of the new MG cars once a treasured national brand.

Car that was bought in May was found to be leaking

The car, which Ms Orn-uma bought in May, was a MG 1.5X. The MG3 model is currently a big hit with many young Thais  coming with classic black top and sports trim. The MG brand tends to fill Thai people with nostalgia as it was acutely popular with affluent Thai people back in the 1960s. The 2014 relaunch was designed to translate those sentiments into impressive sales. It has, to some extent, but not without raising a few eyebrows. It is a business model the raises the vista of global networking, collaboration and supply chains leveraging the power of a famous name.

The MG story and how it is back on track in Thailand

MG, the abbreviation for Morris Garages, is a British sports car manufacturer that started life in 1924. It thrived and went on to be a highly successful business. The company was once regarded was regarded as an influential British car maker. In Thailand, MG cars were seen as a staple of modern Britain in the good old days of the 1960s and 1970s particularly its compact convertibles which became part of  uniquely cool image associated with 60s and 70s Britain. But the brand since has gone through many ups and downs and changed hands numerous times. Now it belongs to SAIC Motor, a Chinese firm that is in partnership with the Thai retail giant CP Group to market the car brand in Thailand after the decades long absence. MG car design is still in the hands of a team based in Britain while the car parts are produced in China and sent to a modern assembly plant in Thailand creates the finished products, producing a maximum of 50,000 vehicles every year. The MG is becoming quite a familiar sight on Thai roads in recent months. Thailand is quietly experiencing economic growth wit many young and middle class Thai people beginning to live the dream. Prestigious car brands are part of the mix.

Brands famous pedigree generates intense debate among expats in Thailand

The fact that new MG cars, strongly associated with the famous British branding, are produced by Chinese and Thai firms has ignited a passionate debate over the product identity particularly among foreigners in Thailand. Some people consider the whole project as part of the Chinese strategy to distance itself from that country’s poor reputation as a prolific manufacturer of cheap copycat products and to exploit the British reputation. Others suggest it is just a new age in motoring where brands are a powerful driver for all motor companies. One has only to look at BMW’s huge success with the Mini brand in Thailand and worldwide to see what is a huge trend. MG cars in Thailand already has a fan based among foreigners and expats living in Thailand have defended the concept and even had praise for the new car models as value for money.

Thailand

Some UK expats in Thailand have even gone so far as to suggest that former MG models for the 60s, while they became legendary cars, were also far from perfect and often lacked a contemporary edge while they were fun drive. Many argue that fact that the new MG Cars is a partnership project between companies from China, Thailand and the UK is a sign of a new approach to business. Many people in Thailand appear to embrace the MG GS, the latest MG model.

Old car brand with a new style in a modern era in Asia

The MG GS car is described as boasting European standard safety system and employs the ‘inkaNet’ technology that allows the driver to communicate with their MG car in real time, according to the official website. It is fairly favorably reviewed by the Bangkok Post Thailand’s leading English language newspaper, which praises the car for its improved fuel efficiency, affordability, wider spread of maximum torque and the useful accompanying items such as side airbags, fog lamps and LED lights.

Though the review also makes it clear that the model’s power delivery and design leaves a lot of room for improvement, it recommends the MG GS as a good deal, a conclusion that is shared by a lot of car fans, especially among expats living in Thailand. ‘It [MG GS model] is comfortable, reliable, and on a long run very economical, even more so than a Honda Jazz,’ one reader wrote in the comment section. ‘I wouldn’t want to drive an MG Midget here, or even an MGB GT,’ the reader continued, referring to the two former MG models from the golden days, ‘But I am happy with my MG6’.

Therefore, it is clear the iconic MG brand will continue to offer joy and excitement to many drivers in Thailand for a long time, testament to an enduring legacy that cannot ultimately by hurt by a rainy day here or there.

 

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