The British car company MG Motor (MG Motor) is very serious about the Indian car market. The company wants to provide products equipped with advanced technology to customers. Also working on increasing manufacturing in the country. The company started 2021 with the updated version of the Hector SUV and the 7-seater Hector Plus. Further, the company has plans to launch a new model.
In the new year 2021, what is the planning of MG Motor in the Indian market for new car launches, expansions, investments, etc. All these issues were discussed by Business Khabar (online) with MG Motor India Chief Commercial Officer Gaurav Gupta. Here are the highlights of this conversation:
Connected car features were given in every model of MG launched so far in India. Will this trend continue in the future?
The focus of MG Motors has always been on connected, autonomous, shared and electric ie ‘CASE’. MG has internet presence in every car launched in India. MG Motor’s first vehicle in India, the Hector SUV, was the first connected car in the country. The company’s second car was the MG ZS electric car, which used both Internet features and electric technology. The third launching Gloster is India’s first Autonomous Level 1 SUV. It also has autonomous features plus internet. The updated version of Hector 2021 Hector is also equipped with Internet features. It can be said that the internet is an important and essential feature of MG cars, on which the company will continue to focus.
MG is moving ahead with new innovations in India. Next we will see more industry-first or segment-first innovations or features in the company’s products.
In 18 months, MG has brought all four of its technologies to India. Electric, Internet ie connected and truly connected, autonomous level cars have been launched. Shared is working closely with MG Miles at Mobility. Further, the focus on technology will remain in the cars that the company will launch in India.
What is the plan for new launching in 2021?
With the start of 2021, the company has launched the 2021 model of Hector and its 7 seater version. MG plans to launch a mid-size SUV in India in the second half of 2021. Its price can be between 10-15 lakh rupees. Apart from this, the company will continue to make regular updates to the models in its portfolio.
Among the sectors which suffered a major setback during the COVID 19 pandemic, the auto sector is also. How much better are things looking in 2021?
The auto sector started gaining momentum from August 2020, after the COVID situation was somewhat controlled. Growth was 20 percent in August, while in December 2020, it was 18 percent. The auto industry is returning to the track and it is expected that this trend of growth should be maintained. The auto industry hopes to support the news of vaccine development, liquidity of the stock market and continue the trend of growth.
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How does MG plan to expand the manufacturing facility and showrooms in India?
MG Motor’s manufacturing plant in Halol, Gujarat is in the process of increasing production capacity from 80000 units per annum to 1-1.25 lakh units annually. The company is investing on this. As far as showrooms are concerned, MG has more than 250 centers in India. The company plans to increase these to more than 300 in 2021.
The trend of contactless car buying has started. Retail showrooms are suffering because of loss or loss of jobs?
MG was first introduced in India by contactless car buying. Contactless car buying is becoming popular, but it is not expected to reduce the sales team of the showroom or a crisis on the jobs. Reverse contactless car buying increases efficiency. The sales team can interact with customers in a better way, the customer can take the time based on their convenience and get to know the features and other details of the vehicle, can make a virtual experience. If there is any question, then you can talk live online to the people present on the company’s showroom.
Digitally buying a car may be popular and a new trend but in the auto sector it is very important to know about the vehicle by touching, driving and driving it. So digital sales can eliminate the penetration of showrooms, it is not. The combination of both offline and online sales will remain and this will make the car buying experience even better for the customer.
What is MG going to launch in India’s electric vehicle market?
The electric vehicle market in India is growing. In 2019, 1000 vehicles were not sold in India’s electric vehicle segment but in 2020 about 4500 vehicles are sold. MG ZS EV accounted for about 1200 units in this sale. So it can be said that the company’s electric car is getting very good response. In the month of December, more than 200 units were booked for MG ZS EV.
Considering the good demand for ZS EV, we have invested on charging infrastructure in the country. The company has formed various partnerships to set up Super Chargers. The availability of charging infrastructure will create confidence in customers to buy electric vehicles. MG has also shared a lot for recycling the battery of electric vehicles. The company has tied up with Delta and Axicon for small chargers. In this way the entire focus of the company has been on developing an ecosystem for electric vehicles. MG pays a lot of attention to electric vehicles and in due course the company will definitely launch more electric cars in the Indian market.
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The MG Gloster is the first autonomous level 1 SUV in India. How is the response of customers in the Indian market about this and what is the future of this technology in India?
The response to MG Gloster has been good, which has increased the company’s confidence in the autonomous car segment. 2000 bookings came in the first month after its launch. By the end of December, it has already booked around 3500. MG Gloster has made considerable inroads in its segment. Technology has a good future in India but it will take time for autonomous levels to move forward. Fast connectivity is very important for the growth of this technology. Right now, Level 1 cars are the best in terms of autonomous cars in India and MG is happy that it is the first company in the country to provide this technology.
What does the company think about providing employment in the country?
MG has always insisted on self-reliance. The company has three pillars of technology, employment diversity. MG is providing employment through its plants, dealerships and suppliers. The company is focused on technology. Talking about diversity, women make up 31-32 percent of the total workforce in the company’s plant. The company has been extremely focused on making women self-reliant.