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SAIC's MG unveils MG3 hybrid model for European market

MG Motor Mexico, owned by China's SAIC Motor, launches an electric vehicle

By Gilles Guillaume

GENEVA (Reuters) - MG Motors, a unit of China's SAIC on Monday unveiled its hybrid hatchback MG3 model for the European market, taking advantage of slowing growth demand for electric vehicles by offering a lower-emission model without the need for charging.

A pure hybrid combines a fossil-fuel engine that charges a larger battery so the car can periodically run in electric, zero-emission mode.

MG said that the MG3's battery is larger than that provided by rival models, enabling to run emission free for longer. The model has so far only been on sale in the United Kingdom.

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Legacy automakers have been racing to switch to EVs as quickly as possible and make them more affordable as Chinese EV makers start launching lower-cost models in Europe.

Demand for EVs has slowed because of a lack of affordable models and the slow rollout of charging infrastructure.

Founded in England in 1924, MG has been owned by SAIC since 2007.

(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume, writing by Nick Carey; editing by Diane Craft)