MG car brand returns to Ireland with electric crossover

The MG brand is returning to Ireland with a new electric car priced from €28,995
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Neil Briscoe

The MG brand is coming back to Ireland after an absence of 15 years, thanks to the Frank Keane Group. MG, still probably best known for its sports cars of t he 1950s and 1960s, died along with Rover when the ill-fated MG Rover Group collapsed in 2005. It was a long, slow, occasionally embarrassing death following BMW’s sell-off of its British brands in 2000, but Chinese car maker Nanjing saw enough value in the MG badge to invest in the rights.

Since when, and following a merger with the Shanghai Auto Industrial Corporation (SAIC), MG has been making a tentative European comeback, mostly in the UK, but now back on our shores too.

Franke Keane Group, a company with more than 50 years’ experience at importing and selling cars in Ireland, has taken on the Irish importer role, and sales will kick off when, sales showrooms reopen, with the MG ZS EV crossover.

Electric range


The ZS is an electric car, with a 44.5kWh battery and a claimed WLTP range of some 262km — rather less than some rivals, but it’s playing the bigger-car (but smaller-battery) for your cash card. Prices for the ZS start from €28,995.

It will be followed in the next few months by the MG 5 EV Sportswagon estate, which comes with a bigger 52.4kWh battery and a claimed WLTP range of 345km, and the MG HS mid-size SUV which has a plugin-hybrid powertrain, which claims a 51km electric range and CO2 emissions of 43g/km.

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Billy Riordan, chief executive of the Frank Keane Group, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be getting involved with MG as their Irish partner. It is an exciting time for this growing brand which has such a rich history.”

While there’s certainly gold in them-there electric hills (electric car sales are up by 21 per cent this year, in spite of the total car market falling by 25 per cent) it will be interesting to see what modern-day Irish buyers now make of a brand that became tarnished in 2005 by poor quality and outdated tech.

Confidence is in the air, though. Gerard Rice, managing director of the newly-formed MG Motor Ireland, said: “MG is the fastest growing mainstream car brand in the UK in 2020 and is growing rapidly across Europe with sales already in full flow in a number of markets and other countries will follow very soon.”

If nothing else, in the context of all else that is happening in 2020, it’s rather refreshing to see someone have the confidence to launch a new (well, new-old) brand into the Irish car market.

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