Intruders - that's how quickly the car market in Sweden is changing
Only in very sentimental moments do you remember that Saab once played a role in the top 10 new registrations in Sweden. That was long over, after that Volvo became the top dog. Ranks 1 to 5 were mostly booked by the brand from Gothenburg. That is history now too. Because foreign intruders rely on Volvo to make life difficult. Suddenly Sweden no longer seems to be a safe bet for the manufacturer from Gothenburg.
The Swedish car market is relatively small and cannot be compared with German conditions. The speed on the country's highways is limited, economic life is concentrated in the two metropolises of Gothenburg and Stockholm. These are the best prerequisites if you want to electrify private transport. Moderate speeds on the autobahns help electric cars reach a long range, the electricity mix is greener but also more atomic than in Germany.
Reported for the month of June 2021 Bilsweden New registrations at pre-Corona level and almost every second new car is a hybrid or electric car. The distribution reflects what the government wants to achieve with the bonus / malus system. Sweden should go electric, combustion engines only have a future as classics and youngtimers.
MG - the invaders from China
The surprise in June was served by an intruder from China. MG announced the start of sales for the MG EHS Hybrid and the MG ZS electric car in April. The Comeback a big, old brand name that was also a topic here. A traditional British brand, once emotional and successful, now under Chinese management. Does she have a chance in Europe? Or does it take the path that is now Borgward goes? The former German brand is just saying goodbye to the automotive cosmos after a failed resurrection.
The MG brand name still seems to have a certain ring to it in Sweden, and the brand has the perfect product at the right time. In June, the all-electric MG ZS SUV - caution shock - took second place among the Swedish new registrations. With 2 copies just behind the Volvo V / S1665 series and more than 60 copies before the Volvo XC100. The XC60, which received a facelift with the 60 model year, is also being hard pressed by the Tesla 2022 and can only barely defend its rank.
In 5th place, and far behind the Tesla, VW follows with the ID.4. A bitter lesson to think about for Gothenburg and Wolfsburg.
Full equipment for € 30.000
Why is it that MG was able to land a surprise coup? A couple of things seem to make the difference. When Polestar brought the first electric cars to Sweden, the motor press was immediately filled with reports of problems. VW felt the same way. Software bugs, e-cars that refused to work and did not want to be charged. From MG you hear - yes, you typed correctly - nothing at all. SAIC has a lead of 10 years in experience and 100 electric cars are already on the road in China.
Then there is the overall package. A range of 263 kilometers according to WLTP fits into everyday life, in Sweden the MG costs around € 33.000 in Germany just over 30.000. Fully equipped, with a panoramic roof and everything that goes with it. You also have to keep in mind that you would only get half a Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric for an MG, without extras of course. The high price policy of the strategists from Gothenburg seems to be reaching its limits.
Years ago I saw that the Chinese can routinely build cars that prove themselves in everyday life erfahren. The cars will have gotten even better since then, and if a little tweaking is missing, the price makes up for it. But especially when it comes to the legendary fine-tuning, the Europeans shouldn't lean so far out of the window anymore.
A warning to Europeans
At the weekend I was out with a friend and his new electric car. A German make, list price € 101.000. A car that, contrary to the assumption suggested by the price tag, is beyond perfect and that disappoints in many small details. A lot of cheap plastic in the interior, a chassis that does not meet the brand and its premium standards. A power consumption that in practice is 40% higher than that of the MG EV. And that at a price of more than 3 MG ZS.
Is this the future we mean and the antidote to Chinese products?
In addition to Tesla, the Chinese are now attacking. With a lot of practical experience and aggressive prices. It almost goes without saying that an MG ZS will never win a comparison test by a German car magazine. However, the price, full equipment and sophisticated electrical engineering are pluses that could reach the buyer.
The rapid change in the Swedish car market shows what can happen in Germany in the next few years. Especially when a nationwide speed limit will level the acceptance for even more electric driving.
In Sweden, MG Motors Europe is officially taking it easy. At the market launch, it was announced that it was primarily targeting young customers who were open to electric drives. 4000 vehicles are to be sold in Sweden in 2021 and the MG ZS should become the country's most popular electric car within 3 years.
It looks like this will go a lot faster. I will stay tuned.
10 thoughts on "Intruders - that's how quickly the car market in Sweden is changing"
In Sweden this is easier for new brands than in Germany. The once so proud auto industry is completely in foreign hands and dominated by either Chinese or German. In addition to China Volvo, MG also has a place, although SAIC has always played the English card very carefully.
Incidentally, MG Motors has long been a global brand again, exports are ongoing and it will still work with Europe.
"(...) and with Europe it will still work."
Looks like it. And unlike the strange attempt with Borgward, I actually thought with the ZG, it looks like a MG.
For me personally, it's no reason to fall for Chinese EVs, but it's well done. It might be a plus for SAIC just to play this card gently, as you say ...
Cautiously and therefore credibly appealing to Europe's long-term memory is not a bad strategy for a Chinese company with export ambitions and a once-European brand in its portfolio.
I didn't have MG on my screen anymore ...
And ZACK is the ZS in second place in Sweden. An intruder?
I don't know what to think anymore. Sweden is no longer what it used to be. Not every Swede can drive a Koenigsegg just because Saab is out of the window and Volvo is Chinese. It doesn't really matter what you buy there now ...
Apparently more and more Swedes think that too. I think this dilution everywhere and all products is a real shame. The last “Japanese” whetstone I bought is Made in Germany, as it turned out later. But all my woks are still made in China and my tent (Hilleberg) is actually still made in Sweden - like my Saab or my old Volvo.
I am losing authenticity and I miss it. Arbitrariness is NOT a synonym for diversity, but its greatest enemy.
Price and ease of use are the criteria for many buyers. How often do I hear from the neighborhood: by the time I've got through all the menu items in my car, the leasing period is over. Realistically, automakers could produce 2 types of vehicle: The highly pampered free car tester test model with all the gimmicks. And the usable, cheaper sales model for customers who actually buy the vehicle. The leasing models must contain a lot of useless things because the manufacturers do not know exactly what extras customers will expect in 4 years' time. Here is the time for the Chinese: at lower prices, the vehicles are still bought by customers. And first of all, 30.000 euros also have to be saved. A lot of families find it very difficult to divert the money from normal operations in this way. Whereby you end up with a nude golf or basic Benz for 30.000 euros.
Presumably - especially in rural areas - cars are still more likely to be bought than leased. That should be no different in SE than in DE.
A low price and sensible usability are more likely to be the deciding factor for a purchase there than the whole premium and connectivity circus.
A frequent extra in SE is the trailer hitch, which is very often not even provided for with the electric Premiums from Europe - not even for the beloved surcharge. It is possible that this is where the catch lies.
Yes the price. In the future, in a certain market segment, it will only be about the price, the leasing rate or the flat rate for use. It will be exciting and a bloodbath.
Is there also the Senova X65 from BIAC in it, like with the Borgwart? ... or is it smaller?
Yes, the prices from Volvo, VW and Co are exciting, but it often looks better as a Laesing vehicle.
Leasing is certainly still the open flank. At Saab, it was open until the end. But the Chinese will learn quickly here too.
MG belongs to SAIC (not BAIC as erroneously in the first version of the text) - there are no Saab roots.
The leasing rates seem interesting. They start at just under € 200 and MG offers a new car guarantee of 7 years.
It is interesting that important dealers like Hedin Bil (also took over parts of Saab ANA) jumped on the MG bandwagon. That looks good for MG Motors.
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