MG launches its first one-tonne pickup

MG is entering the one-tonne, 4×4 pickup for the very first time with the peculiarly named ‘Extender’. The MG Extender is based on the LDV T70 pickup but is built at different factory at Laem Chabang in Thailand.

Background

Ahhh where to begin with this one? MG needs no introduction for petrolheads; a historic British brand established in 1923 and world-renowned for its two-seater sports cars that prioritised fun and style over substance. So how did it make the move into pickups?

Again, for those of you that don’t know, MG Rover went bust in 2005 and the assets and naming rights were sold to the Nanjing Automobile Group, who merged with current owners SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation).

SAIC is China’s largest automaker and is placed 12th globally with sales of 5.6 million in 2018. SAIC developed a pickup truck in 2016, which it sells under different names in different countries due to brand perception; ‘Maxus T60’ in China, ‘LDV T60’ in Australia and New Zealand and ‘MG Extender’ in Thailand and the Philippines due to popularity of the MG brand in those countries.  

ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE LDV T60 – UK first drive

LDV T60 UK

LDV T60 UK

Pickup trucks make up 43% of all vehicle sales in Thailand and 225,508 registrations in the first half of 2019. By comparison, there were 29,975 pickup truck registrations in the UK during the same period.

However, there is a 200% import duty on light commercial vehicles in Thailand, and so the only solution is to produce locally. SAIC partnered with Thai manufacturer the Charoen Pokphand Group to manufacture the pickup in Laem Chabang.

Design and architecture

MG Extender interior

MG Extender interior

Forget Chinese pickups of the past, the MG Extender is furnished with a wide range of accessories including lane departure warning, LED headlights, leather seats, soft-touch interior surfaces, reversing camera, and an infotainment system with a 10.0-inch touchscreen.

By employing a heavy-duty ladder chassis and leaf springs at the rear, the Extender will have a one-tonne payload and a 3t towing capacity on four-wheel drive versions. The double-cab load bed is short at 1,485mm, although it is quite wide at 1,510mm and deep at 530mm).

MG Extender engine and driveline

The Extender is propelled by SAIC’s newly-developed 2.0-litre engine, which produces 161hp and 375Nm and there is a choice between a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. Most versions will be four-wheel drive although there is an entry-level rear-wheel drive model.

MG Extender price and availability

MG Extender 2020

MG Extender 2020

The MG Extender is, for the time being, only being sold in South-East Asia and is priced at 549,000 baht (£15,000) for the extended cab, and from 759,000 baht (£20,700) for the double.

We’re still trying to get our heads around seeing an MG badge on a pickup!

ALSO READ: New Pickup Trucks for 2019 and 2020

CHECK OUT! Top 5 Chinese Pickup Trucks To Watch Out For!

MG launches its first one-tonne pickup

| Extender, MG, News | 0 Comments
About The Author
- Liam Campbell is an award-winning journalist with a Masters degree in Automotive Journalism from Coventry University. Growing up on a farm and learning to drive in a Mark 1 Range Rover (his left thigh is still twice as big as his right), Liam likes to think he knows a thing or two about commercial 4x4s. Previously, he was the Van Editor at Parkers and resident pickup expert at Car Magazine, before taking up the post of Editor at Professional Pickup & 4x4. Follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/maxximum_load

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>