MG Motor India models: MG Motor India to introduce seven new models in India in 2 years

Mumbai: MG Motor India, the SAIC-owned British brand, plans to launch seven new models in the Indian market over the next couple of years, the company told a group of dealers invited to its headquarters in Shanghai within days of stitching a joint venture with the Sajjan Jindal-owned JSW Group.

A spokesperson at MG Motor India declined to comment. During their visit, the dealers were showcased a line-up of models—some of which would be launched in India over the next 24 months, said several dealers who attended the meet earlier this month.

On November 30, JSW Group and SAIC Motor announced an India joint venture to expand the operations of MG Motor owned by the Chinese. As part of the agreement, JSW will hold a 35% stake in the JV announced on November 30. “They have a long-term plan for the Indian market and are looking to straddle various segments with multiple offerings,” said one of the persons who visited the company’s headquarters. MG is unlikely to bring any completely new, only fossil-fuel powered models to India and will focus on hybrids including plug-in hybrids and battery-operated vehicles, the person added.

All the existing ICE models in their line-up will get an update. For instance, the Gloster – the premium SUV which rivals the Toyota Fortuner and Volkswagen Tiguan – will get an update next year. At the auto expo in February this year, MG had showcased a raft of electric and hybrid models from its global portfolio. These included the eHS, a plug-in hybrid SUV, Mifa9 electric multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), MG4 electric hatchback, MG5 electric estate, among others.

The Indian market is very important for SAIC, and the company is seeking ways to improve its performance, a top official at SAIC told ET on the sidelines of the IAA Mobility show in Munich in September. “Our current performance in India is not meeting our expectations,” he had said. Meanwhile, MG has also been working on strengthening its dealer network. Ahead of its deal with JSW, MG initiated an exercise to recast its dealer network, ET reported in on October 12. It’s now at the fag-end of the exercise. As part of the plan, it was to increase its 330 touchpoints in 158 cities to 400 in 270 cities by December 2023. The plans to strengthen MG’s presence in India with new launches comes close on the heels of the JV with JSW Group. The five-year old entrant in India’s passenger vehicle market had to slow its India expansion plans as it couldn’t get capital infusion from the parent after an Indian regulatory bar on foreign direct investment from China.

The SAIC invested close to Rs 5,000 crore in India and was ready to infuse a similar amount more, but the proposal has been stuck since 2020 amid border tensions that soured ties between the two countries. MG Motor has been relying on external commercial borrowings from the parent company to support operations in India.

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