MG’s parent, SAIC, is currently the seventh largest automaker in the world. To further expand its reach, this Chinese-owned British brand has big plans for India.
MG Motor India has announced its aggressive business plans for the Indian market. The SIAC-owned company has committed to investing 2,000 crores in its first phase of development, and has envisioned investing as much as Rs 5,000 crores total in the country over a span of the next six years if all goes according to plan. SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation), meanwhile, manufactured 7 million vehicles last year, with a total turnover over $110 billion.
In July 2017, MG Motor announced that it would be entering the Indian automobile market by 2019. Then, in September, the company inaugurated its manufacturing facility in Halol, Gujarat. The Halol plant is GM India’s former plant, which ceased operations after GM decided to abruptly pull the plug on sales in India. GM still operates its Talegaon plant in Maharashtra, from where it exports vehicles to other markets. Interestingly, both Rajeev Chaba, President and MD, as well as P Balendran, Executive Director, MG Motor India, are former GM executives.
The upgradation of the Halol plant includes the construction of a new press shop and the modification of assembly lines and other facilities. MG Motor India has also initiated talks with various suppliers to set up a vendor park around Halol to aid its effort of achieving high levels of localisation. Chaba announced that they plan to have 80% localisation right from the get go.
MG Motor India claims to have already recruited more than 150 people in the last five months, and further aims to expand its workforce to around 1,000 by the end of 2018. Furthermore, MG also plans to set up as many as 300 customer touch-points over the next few years.
MG Motor has also announced that its first vehicle in India will be launched ahead of schedule within the first three months of 2019. Going forward, the company plans to introduce one new product to the Indian market every year.
Adhering to the current demand for SUVs and crossovers, MG has decided to launch an SUV as its debut model in India. We reckon that the company would likely introduce the ZS (pictured above), a small SUV that debuted in 2017. The ZS is a Hyundai Creta sized car, which is the first model in MG’s global line up to incorporate the company’s new design philosophy. In the UK, this car starts at £12,495 (~Rs 11.40 lakh).
For the uninitiated, MG (Morris Garages) is a British automotive marque that was originally established in 1924. The name MG was once synonymous with roadsters, and was a big part of popular culture right from World War II up to the 70s. However, after an aftermath of prolonged losses, the company went bankrupt in 2005 and was re-established as MG Motor in 2006 by China-based SAIC – which has global aspirations for the brand once again.
Rajeev Chaba estimates that there are about 500 old MGs in the country, so MG will certainly hope to build on this affinity for its heritage as it plans for a long future in India.