MG will follow its 3 supermini and 6 family car with a crossover, due in the UK in 2013

MG will bolster its reborn line-up by launching an SUV crossover within the next year — although British buyers are likely to have to wait until 2013 for the car.

The firm, which announced last week that its 6 hatchback would go on sale in British dealers from mid-April, is concentrating on ‘mainstream’ models that offer volume sales, instead of being drawn into niche areas such as sports cars.

The first two models for the firm will be the 6 — in hatch and saloon forms — and the Fiesta-sized 3. But parent firm SAIC is thought to favour making the third car a crossover. That model would also offer opportunities to Roewe, MG’s sister brand in the crucial Chinese market.

“There will be at least three volume vehicles in our range before we build a sports car,” said MG’s sales and marketing boss, Guy Jones. When asked if one could be a crossover, he said, “It could be an SUV, yes. We’ll test a crossover vehicle next year in China.”

Even if an SUV arrives in 2012, the firm’s modest plans for the UK and continental Europe will delay its arrival in these markets until the following year.

Full story: MG's launch plan for the 6

MG won’t reach most European markets until late 2012 — the point where a diesel engine can be offered in the 6 — and the 3 is not scheduled to reach the UK until late next year, because it will require more ‘regionalisation’ than its larger brother.

Jones also refused to confirm that the 3 will join the 6 in being assembled in Longbridge. SAIC is more likely to keep the car’s production in China, ensuring a better profit margin on the smaller model.

John McIlroy

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