MG Philippines hits the road with free concert series

Last weekend, MG Philippines veritably went, well, malling as it dropped by SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City to stage the first of its “MG Live!” free concerts. Staged in cooperation with Phoenix Pulse Technology, the multi-weekend concert series brings together some of the country’s top musical acts “in celebration of the fun and vibrant lifestyle the MG brand aims to espouse.” Performing for free at the mall’s Fashion Hall were rock band Sandwich and electro-pop artists Gracenote.

On display at the venue were the MG Philippines lineup consisting of the ZS (pronounced “zed-es”) crossover SUV, MG 6 fastback sedan, and the RX5 compact SUV. All were made available for customers wishing a test drive. At the center of the display area was a pristinely maintained 1969 classic MGB V8 two-door roadster loaned from a big MG fan, “as a nod to the brand’s rich and colorful heritage,” said MG Philippines in a release.

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“It’s a brand steeped in heritage; a brand that has been around since 1924. After SAIC took over, MG has become very forward-looking when it comes to technology, and it comes at an attainable value. Putting all these three together means a great option for the Filipino market,” shared The Covenant Car Company, Inc. (TCCI) SVP for Marketing Lyn Buena in an exclusive interview with STAR Motoring. TCCI is the official Philippine distributor and service provider of MG and Chevrolet vehicles.

The British automobile brand has had a long sporting heritage as familiar as its iconic octagonal badge. Relaunched with the financial backing of Fortune Global 500 company SAIC Motor (it was ranked 36th last year), MG now has ample leverage to help it grow. Shanghai-based SAIC is China’s biggest car manufacturer, and also controls another British auto marque, Roewe.

Buena observed that MG comes to the Philippines at an opportune time just when SAIC is aggressively working to establish itself as a global brand. “MG Live!” itself is an international campaign, “a celebration of great cars and great music.”

On March 30, “MG Live!” travels to SM Southmall in Las Piñas with rock trio Hilera and pop rockers Moonstar88, and culminates at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) on April 6 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City with Ultra Combo—composed of Eraserheads members Raimund Marasigan, Buddy Zabala, and Marcus Adoro with Moonstar88 vocalist Maysh Baay. MG Philippines will launch two models at MIAS.

“Our products fit many stages of life and different lifestyles. But as a whole, ours is a brand that boasts great driving dynamics and living the fun and vibrant life. It’s about exceeding expectations,” said the executive.

And expectations are indeed high, particularly with the 2019 MG ZS, the “hero vehicle” of the concert series. Boasting very attractive pricing starting at P818,888 for the MT 1.5 Style, the compact crossover is powered by a 1.5-liter, naturally aspirated gas engine that delivers 114hp and 150Nm. MG provides bang-for-the-buck features such as an eight-inch Apple CarPlay-enabled LCD infotainment unit, push start/stop button, multi-function steering wheel, and driving aids like a reverse camera, ABS, Cornering Brake Control, Electronic Brake Assist, Electronic Brake Distribution, Hill Start Assist, tire pressure monitoring system, and traction control.

“We’re not just building the brand. We’re making sure that after-sales service and the dealership facility is well taken care of,” added Buena. “By the end of the year, we will have 16 dealerships open, and we’re set to launch a major after-sales campaign — chief of which is the mobile garage service. It’s a service facility that goes to you — a casa that goes to your home when you need help with your MG.” There are currently four operational dealerships: MG Centris on EDSA, MG BF Parañaque, MG Iloilo, and MG Cebu.

“Most of the people who have purchased an MG or have interacted with the brand are just pleasantly surprised over the value that each car offers,” she revealed, and noted that 2019 will be a busy year. “There are many other roadshows, events, and major sponsorships, some of which I can’t talk about yet. But we’re cooking up big things for MG in the Philippines.”

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