SAIC Motor Corporation, the biggest vehicle manufacturer
in China, will soon be starting operations in India through MG Motor India, its
fully owned subsidiary. SAIC, which has acquired a massive technological
prowess through its various acquisitions and strategic alliances, is expected
to leverage the same for making cars in India.
In 2017, SAIC Motor Corporation sold 6.93 million
vehicles, which included 6.19 million passenger vehicles and 742,000 units of
SAIC has several strategic tie ups with global brands,
the big ones being one with General Motors (SAIC-GM) and the other with
Volkswagen (SAIC Volkswagen). SAIC’s passenger car division produces and sells
cars under the MG and Roewe brands. The Roewe brand of cars is sold primarily
in China, while MG brand has a global appeal.
MG and Roewe are both interchangeable brands of SAIC
Motor Corporation. Post the success of
Roewe in mainstream Chinese automotive market, SAIC aims to share its
technologies with the MG brand.
SAIC also has a commercial vehicle making company that
makes CVs under the Maxus brand name. Shanghai General Motors Wuling (SGMW) is
a joint venture between SAIC Motor, General Motors, and Liuzhou Wuling Motors
Co Ltd. The company makes commercial vehicles sold in China under the Wuling
brand as well as premium cars under the Baojun brand. Other SAIC affiliates
include NAVECO, SAIC-IVECO Hongyan and Shanghai Sunwin Bus Corp (SUNWIN).
MG Motor India President & Managing Director Rajeev
Chaba told visiting Indian journalists to China that these different tie ups
have “developed common platforms”. “We are going to choose one these platforms
which we think is appropriate and will put an MG skin on it, MG DNA with UK
designers. Lots of features of the new SUV to be launched in India will be
inspired from these vehicles,” Chaba said.
SAIC PLANTS AND
Motown India correspondent was among those invited to
visit the Lingang plant of SAIC in the Pudong district of Shanghai. This plant
with its modern manufacturing processes has dedicated areas for press shops,
paint shops, tool shop, assembly lines, etc. A large number of robots aid in
the production of vehicles both of Roewe brand and the MG brand.
MG vehicles are produced in four major manufacturing
bases across China: Lingang, Nanjing, Henan and Fujian. MG and Roewe are both
interchangeable brands of SAIC Motor Corporation. Post the success of Roewe in mainstream
Chinese automotive market, SAIC aims to share its technologies with the MG
brand. At the Lingang plant, both Roewe
and MG vehicles are produced.
MG vehicles are also produced in Thailand, where the
company recently inaugurated its second factory in Rayong, apart from Halol,
India, where it will start production in Q2 2019. MG cars are sold in UK,
China, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, Middle East and will soon be sold in
SAIC Motor Corporation has established technical centres
in Longbridge and London in the UK, besides Anting and Nanjing in China, with a
global independent R&D team of more than 6,400 engineers to catch up with
the global trends in new technology. Motown India also visited the design
centre in Anting which is home to world class talent and churns out innovative
vehicle designs that have been admired and appreciated across the globe.
The construction of SAIC R&D centre in Anting started
in 2005 under an investment of four billion yuan, covering 419,000 square
meters and 242,000 square meters of gross area. The SAIC R&D lab in Anting
has a variety of facilities including design building, thermal energy emission
lab, architecture lab, NVH, thermal wind tunnel lab, powertrain lab, new energy
lab, chassis lab, safety lab, electronic & electrical lab, pilot build
The facility’s 3rd phase construction has introduced
several new laboratories like aerodynamic wind tunnel, vehicle EMC
(Electromagnetic Compatibility), intelligent driving etc.
The global annual sales volume of MG in 2017 exceeded
160,000 units, representing growth of 36 per cent over 2016 (118,000 units). In
China alone, MG sold 180,000 cars from January to September this year, growing
89% compared with the previous year.
Founded in the UK 1924, Morris Garages (MG) vehicles were
known for its sports cars, roadsters and cabriolet series and were loved by
even the British Royal Family and Celebrities. MG has evolved into a modern,
futuristic and innovative brand over the last 94 years and its product
portfolio is synchronised with the global automotive technology development.
Through the past decade, MG has developed world -class
new technology and independent innovative research capability, especially
in traditional powertrain, new energy
vehicle, internet and intelligent driving technology.
In April 2018, the Roewe Marvel X (electric SUV) made its
first appearance in Beijing. Since the Banma internet car system was
co-developed with Alibaba in 2014 and Roewe ERX5 was born, a variety of
internet vehicles have been launched one after another such as Roewe i6, Roewe
RX3 etc. Roewe Marvel X leads SAIC’s SUV Innovation and is hailed as the
world’s first mass -produced intelligent vehicle. Banma was founded by Alibaba
and SAIC Motor.
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