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MG boosts warranty to seven years

Lucky seven: MG now has the equal longest warranty in Australia, matching Kia’s seven-year offering.

Boost to seven-year warranty for MG matches Kia, but only for the GS and ZS SUVs

MG logo23 Nov 2017

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

MG MOTOR has extended its warranty and roadside assistance package to seven years, matching Kia in offering the most comprehensive factory-backed guarantee of any car-maker operating in Australia.

However, while it comes just six months after the Chinese-owned car-maker announced a six-year warranty and roadside assistance program, the seven-year deal only applies to the company’s SUV range – the all-new ZS and its larger GS crossover.

Furthermore, the GS has to be the latest MY17.5 version, which gains a five-star ANCAP crash-test safety rating – the first in Australia for a Chinese-built vehicle.

This means that the oldest current-model MGs on sale in Australia – the MG3 light hatch and MG6 mid-size sedan – stick with the lesser warranty and roadside assistance package. Additionally, the seven-year guarantee only applies to private buyers, so fleets are not subject to the offer.

Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the ZS in Australia this week, SAIC Motor Australia marketing and communication senior manager, Danny Lenartic, said that the move reflects the company’s confidence in the quality and performance of its vehicles.

“We needed to listen to the market and we have,” he revealed. “We are also determined to react to it, and the beauty of being essentially so new still is that we are nimble enough to actually make change, and adapt very quickly to meet customer expectations, and that’s exciting… and the seven-year warranty demonstrates that.

“It’s understanding where we need to be to establish trust, to establish integrity, to establish our own story.”

Back in May when SAIC Australia unveiled its six-year unlimited-kilometre warranty, Mr Lenartic said the move was to help allay consumer reservation about Chinese-built vehicles, even though the brand has had decades of representation, including as recently as the first half of the 2000s as MG Rover.

“When you’re relaunching… with so much positive history behind it there’s a bit of pressure,” he said. “We have a lot of confidence in the cars we’re making and our warranty reflects that.

“The Chinese have gotten very good at producing quality goods. Just take a look at your phone. Engineering in China has come a long, long way, and I think the sentiment on Chinese-made product is softening.

“I feel that with this brand we will help that, and hopefully propel it to another level where you are basing it on what you are seeing in front of you, and not perception.”

Kia shocked industry observers when it comprehensively gazumped its rivals including compatriot Hyundai by going to a seven- rather than five-year warranty plan in October 2014. Since that time sales have climbed steadily, rising nearly 30 per cent year-to-date in 2017 to breach the 50,000-unit mark for the first time.

Mr Lenartic admitted that his company was inspired by Kia’s move.

“They’re doing amazing things,” he said. “Personally, I don’t worry so much about the competition because I can’t control what they do. I can only concentrate on my four walls. But from a business standpoint, absolutely, you have to take a look at what they’re doing and set benchmarks – and that’s a good one to follow.”

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