MG, aka Morris Garages, the legendary British automaker founded by William Morris in Oxford in 1924, has just unveiled the MG Extender, the brand’s first rear-wheel drive mid-size pickup. Though the new truck will only be sold in Thailand for now, it has caught the attention of pickup enthusiasts.
Despite the fact that MG is now owned by SAIC Motor Corporation Limited, a Chinese state-owned automotive design and manufacturing company based in Shanghai, the brand is still associated with its classic British roadsters. In fact, the Extender has a distinctly European feel.
Available in both four-door Double Cab and two-door Grand Cab body styles, the MG Extender has a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine that delivers 120kW of power and 375Nm of torque. Buyers have the option of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, and although standard models are rear-wheel drive, high-end variants are equipped with four-wheel drive.
The Extender also features lane departure warning, LED headlights, leather seats, soft-touch interior surfaces, reversing camera, and an infotainment system with a 10.0-inch touchscreen. Additionally, the model offers automatic climate control and driver assistance systems such as lane departure warning, hill descent control and blind spot monitoring.
The MG Extender has been modeled after the SAIC's Maxus T70 pickup truck, which is sold exclusively in China. Meanwhile, Thailand, which is the second largest economy of Southeast Asia, is a growing market for pickup truck sales. Overall, 523,770 vehicles were sold in the first half of this year and pickup trucks accounted for 225,508 units, 43% of the total.
The MG Extender will start at $26,000 for the Grand Cab, and $35,900 for the Double Cab. The pickup will compete against the Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi Triton/L200, Nissan NP300 Navara, and Toyota Hilux.
Globally, pickup trucks, which include includes mini, mid-size, full-size and heavy-duty pickup trucks, accounted for 4.8% of the market revenue in 2018, a 7.3% growth compared to market share in 2013. The best-performing brand in the pickup trucks segment in 2018 was Ford with revenues of $22.1 billion, followed by Chevrolet with revenues of $16.6 billion and Ram with revenues of $15.9 billion.