While customers are undoubtedly excited about the prospect of a new product, there is one group of people that are far more excited about it: sales staff.
The prospect of having a new product to offer customers is always a good one if you're someone who works in a showroom. If the product is popular and good, there's a good chance of racking up sales and making commissions.
Sometimes though, we can get a bit too excited and jump the gun. That appears to be the case with the updated ZS from MG Philippines distributor The Covenant Car Company, Inc. (TCCCI) which is set for launch next Friday.
If you spotted our article yesterday, MG Philippines is preparing to introduce the new MG ZS with the updated design and upgraded features (probably). While the launch has undoubtedly been delayed because of a variety of factors (pandemic, chip shortage), it's finally coming.
The vehicle is a very critical one for MG because it makes up the lion's share of their sales in the country. In the year before the pandemic, MG sold a very solid 5000+ units, and more than half of that was the ZS. That isn't a surprise because MG (while technically a SAIC brand now) is offering the ZS for well under PHP 1 million; you could get a pretty good-looking crossover for the price of a Vios.
We just received a screencap of what appears to be a Zoom meeting between a salesperson affiliated with a Morris Garages (MG) dealership in the country. We can now confirm that MG Philippines will be offering the MG ZST; yes the version of the new MG ZS with turbo.
Based on the presentation, they are targeting it as a rival to the Geely Coolray, Toyota Rush, Hyundai Kona, Ford EcoSport, Volkswagen T-Cross, Cherry Tiggo. Here's a rather poetic excerpt from that screencap:
With its striking proportions, the New ZST by MG exudes a powerful presence, wherever it appears. The modern front end, prominent wheel arches and distinctive European design underline the masculine SUV styling. Attractive design details complete the stylish look – and display and impression that makes every head turn.
Marketing jargon notwithstanding, we're more interested in the turbo. That is a very important detail because while MG garnered significant sales in 2019 with the ZS, that waned as customers gravitated towards the newer Geely Coolray that offered a more enjoyable drive because of its feel, looks, and more powerful 1.5 turbo. The MG ZS at the time only offered a naturally aspirated 1.5L that had just 114 PS and 150 Nm of torque.
The new MG ZST will have the 1.3-liter turbo that makes 163 PS and 230 Nm of torque. It's still a little below the Geely Coolray which has 177 PS and 255 Nm, but it's definitely much closer. The ZST will also have the Aisin 6-speed automatic instead of a CVT or a dry-type DCT that SAIC has in their parts bin.
The price is interesting too. The information we got didn't include all the variants, but what we spotted was that MG will be offering the ZST in their top-spec Trophy trim, and it will retail for PHP 1,158,888.
If it is equipped to go head-to-head with the Coolray Sport, that means it undercuts the Geely by PHP 39,112 because the TCCCI brands love their 8s.