In January 2023, the MG4 was a real commercial success. It has entered the top 5 in France, allowing itself to be ahead of well-known electric cars such as the Renault Twingo, the Peugeot e-2008 and even… the legendary Renault Zoé. We explain the reasons for this success and why the MG4 could do a lot of damage to French manufacturers.
In January 2023, the MG4 was in fifth place in the sales ranking of electric cars in France. But that is not new, since the registration figures have already been known for a few days. Thus, we find the Dacia Spring in first place, followed by the Fiat 500, the Renault Mégane E-Tech and the Peugeot e-208.
The arrival of the MG4 in the ranking is not a surprise in itself: in December 2022 it appeared, directly in tenth place! But how did this car, still totally unknown to the general public, manage to climb into the top 5? And, above all, how do you intend to stay in this ranking and scrape market share from French manufacturers?
Why is the MG4 selling so well in France?
To the first question, the answer is extremely simple: thanks to its price. The MG4 is a compact sedan-type electric car (segment C) that cost “only” 28,900 euros when it was launched on the market. Or 22,900 euros once the ecological bonus has been discounted. This is the first time that an electric sedan has been so affordable in France.
In front of her, the electric Renault Mégane is sold much more expensive. We can also mention the more expensive Peugeot e-208, and above all part of the B segment. In short, you have understood it, the MG4 is one of the cars with the best quality/price ratio at the moment. Or almost. Because we must also count the Dacia Spring, from segment A, much less versatile, and the Tesla Model 3, from segment D, much more expensive.
If you follow the news of electric cars closely, you will not have missed the price increase of the MG4, decided at the beginning of 2023. It is quite low, but together with the reduction of the bonus, we are facing a net increase of 2,000 euros . Except for households entitled to the bonus of 7,000 euros, for which the price of the car does not vary.
How will the MG4 continue to sell so well in France?
The answer to the second question is also quite simple. The electric car market is booming, but new products are trickling in. We don’t have crystal balls, but we still know more or less the list of electric cars that are expected by 2023. And none seems to be able to eclipse the excellent quality / price ratio of the MG4.
Even Chinese automakers like BYD didn’t come to Europe with as aggressive pricing as MG did with its new electric compact. And yet MG promises that it manages to make money with its MG4 in Europe.
Tesla model 3 vs. MG4
However, Tesla managed to put some sticks in MG’s wheels. With the recent price drop of the Model 3 and Model Y around the world, Elon Musk’s firm has hit hard, very hard even. Tesla’s two affordable electric cars have become much cheaper than a few months ago, with a drop of more than 13,000 euros taking into account the effect of the ecological bonus.
If before you had to add almost 30,000 euros to go from an MG4 to a Tesla Model 3, now the difference is only about 15,000 euros. A big difference again, but very small, which could tip the scales for some potential buyers.
The MG4 production problem
MG’s other problem is the production capacity of its parent company, SAIC, in China. All MG4s are produced in Asia, and MG doesn’t have the same production capabilities as Tesla. Flooding the market over time with MG4 should be a tricky exercise. In fact, MG plans to sell 20,000 cars in France in 2023, compared to more than 13,000 in 2022 (including 1,570 MG4s), or a delta of just 7,000 cars.
Therefore, in 2023, MG will be limited in terms of sales and will not be able to beat French and European competitors. For example, Peugeot managed to sell more than 19,000 e-208s in 2022, when the Dacia Spring sold 18,326 examples. On the Tesla side, there were 17,000 Model 3s and 11,892 Model Ys. MG’s expected 20,000 sales in 2023 will be divided into six different models.
In short, MG has hit hard with its MG4 and should continue to dominate some old electric cars like the Renault Zoé or the Renault Twingo. But it will not be able to replace its newer competitors in France. At least not in 2023, mainly because of its production capabilities.
It’s a shame, since in 2023 the Chinese manufacturer will market two new variants of the MG4: one with a long range and the other very sporty.
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