MG Motor UK’s record surge in sales has been mirrored by its Chinese parent company, which saw its 2011 sales top the four million mark for the first time.

SAIC Motor became the first automotive company in China to see annual sales top the four million mark, reinforcing its opposition as the country’s biggest car manufacturer.

The record 4.01 million sales represented a 12 per cent increase on 2010 figures and are set against the background of a slowdown in the Chinese market.

MG Motor UK started 2012 with 107 sales in January, the best January performance since the company was formed in 2009.

SAIC has two long-established joint ventures in China with GM and VW; however SAIC Motor’s self-owned brands of Roewe and MG are expanding rapidly.

The company’s global research and development wing has now been successfully established at three bases in Shanghai and Nanjing in China and in Birmingham where 300 professional engineers and designers work.

Both the MG6 GT and the MG6 Magnette sports-saloon are designed and engineered at the MG Birmingham factory where final assembly of the UK models also takes place.

Doug Wallace, MG Motor UK’s press and events manager said: “The figures from SAIC Motor are incredible and show both the vast size of the car market in China and the size and standing of SAIC as the number one performer in China. SAIC’s sales alone are more than twice the size of the entire UK market!

“Here in the UK we are very much starting again and building up sales. We are gaining momentum and the value-for-money message is getting across strongly as people start to look at what you get for the price with an MG6.

“We’ve had lots of good news recently and that’s helping to generate interest and sales. The MG6 won the What Car? 2012 Security Award, we scored a strong 4-Star Euro-NCAP result which is equal to the Jaguar XF and MG is about to go racing again in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship with Jason Plato and Andy Neate at the wheel and even Top Gear were impressed.

“The MG dealer network is building too. Later this month a new dealership opens in Stoke-on-Trent and a second in Brighton. Next month a dealer opens in Derby.

“The car market in the UK is very tough and we have seen many marques disappear in the last 18 months so competition is strong. What is really pleasing for us is that people are giving the new MG a chance and footfall at dealers up and down the country is improving as now the MG6 is on people’s radar.”