MG Motor India
will be launching its first vehicle, a sports utility vehicle (SUV), in India
in the first quarter of calendar 2019. The company which has already announced
in September 2018, an investment of Rs 2000 crore for the purchase of the
erstwhile GM India Halol plant in Gujarat, has also noted that it would be
pumping in an additional Rs 3000 crore in the next six years, thereby taking its total
investment in India to Rs 5000 crore.
This was disclosed by Rajeev Chaba, President &
Managing Director, MG Motor India at a press conference in New Delhi. “We shall be launching an SUV in Q2 of
calendar 2019 which would be very contemporary, great value for money and would
be ahead of its time,” he said.
MG Motor India is a fully owned subsidiary of SAIC Motor
Corporation of China. The Chinese
corporation is the 7th largest automobile manufacturer in the world
and the largest automaker in China. It recorded a turnover of US $110 in 2017
and sold roughly 6.93 million vehicles in 2017. SAIC enjoys a market share of
23pc in China.
SAIC's affiliated vehicle companies include Morris
Garages, Roewe, SAIC Maxus, SAIC Volkswagen, SAIC-GM, Shanghai General Motors
Wuling (SGMW), NAVECO, SAIC-Iveco Hongyan and Shanghai Sunwin Bus Corp
Chaba, who was at one time the President and Managing
Director of GM India, told journalists that his company would bring electric
vehicles too into India for which it will be talking to the Indian government.
After the launch of the SUV in 2019, MG Motor India would be launching one new
passenger model every year.
“In terms of products, we are very confident, in fact, over
confident. We have things in place,” said Chaba, but admitted that “We are
going to face many challenges in India”. “Competition always keeps you on your
toes. We are going to be different from others,” said P.Balendran, an old GM
India hand and a veteran in the Indian automobile industry.
Pointing out to the large choice before them in terms of
the various SAIC sub brands, Chaba noted that “We will pick up a platform best
suited for India. We will make changes on that platform”. The SUV to be
launched in India in early 2019 will have a high level of localisation, he
Giving details of the Halol plant which SAIC acquired
from GM India for MG Motor India, Chanba said that the first phase of the
investment would be towards a new press shop and a new vendor park besides
rebuilding the existing assembly lines, paint shop etc. “We have purchased the
assets of Halol plant,” he said and with regards to the erstwhile GM India
workers, he pointed out that they were offered a package which some of the
workers accepted while the remaining were absorbed in the GM India Talegaon
MG Motor India has also started inviting dealer prospects
for its Dealer Road Shows scheduled to be conducted in Mumbai on 28th March, in
Delhi on 6th April, and in Bengaluru on 16th April. The company is looking at
partners who possess a hunger for growth and have the capability to deliver a
differentiated service commitment that surpasses the industry standard and sets
MG Motor India is looking to build a future-ready organisation
that sets the industry benchmarks not only in terms of a young and smart work
culture, but also in terms of diversity; female employees already account for
22 percent of the company’s total workforce. “We aim to increase the number of
female hires in the near future. This will make a difference and put them in
the driver’s seat in the company, thus breaking the monotony in this industry,”
MG Motor India had recently launched ‘MG Drives
Innovation’, a program designed to identify, nurture and support innovations in
auto-tech and mobility solutions.
The “MG Drives Innovation” programme, launched in
collaboration with TiE New Delhi received over 200 entries from startups in
auto-tech, transportation, mobility and related fields. As part of the first
round, 10 startups were selected to showcase at TiECon 2017.
“MG Drives Innovation” is an on-going programme, and not
just an event. The goal is to support innovators and startups with innovative
solutions, ideally with the objective of co-creating solutions that impact
mobility, transportation and the auto-tech sector.
“We are closely working with five start ups now and are
ready to tie up with them or take up a financial stake in them,” said Chaba.
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