Are MG Heading Back to Ssangyong?
Published March 25, 2013
In the final days of MG-Rover the big bosses were looking everywhere for a volume product that could sell in the thousands with a little bit of MG and Rover tinkering to make it a British Car To Beat The World, they looked to Tata to source the City Rover and they looked to Ssangyong to source the Rexton. The MG-Rexton never came into being, thankfully, but it was used by the Longbridge security guards who looked after the old factory after its bankruptcy up until SAIC called the plant home in the UK.
Eventually SAIC would put the Rexton into production in China as the Roewe W5, consumers arent really interested in full frame SUVs from the turn of the century and can choose the BYD S6 for a great deal less. SAIC acquired the Ssangyong Rexton via partial ownership of the Korean company but were forced out when Ssangyong went into bankruptcy in 2008 and was then acquired by Mahindra. Since Mahindra ownership Ssangyong were able to produce the Korando city SUV which hasnt sold overly well in China, but it seems that SAIC have taken a shine to it for the new future MG-Roewe SUV.
The above pictures, taken from BitAuto.com, show a Korando like SUV wearing an MG still grill. MGs octagon shaped badge really does give the game away despite their not being any other logos on the car at all. World Car Fans have already reported on the MG SUV, expect they thought it was a facelift Korando and seemingly ignored the SMTC (Shanghai Motor Technical Center) paint on the doors. So are Ssangyong-Shanghai Auto working on the Korando, or are SAIC simply using it as a benchmark, or worse cloning it?
The future MG SUV was supposed to be based on the MG Icon SUV Concept that was part roadster part SUV ala the Nissan Juke at the Shanghai Auto Show two years ago, most people have forgotten this concept (or would have liked to) but it doesnt seem to fit the style of the above Korando-like compact SUV.