MG Hector Launched In India, Electric SUV Coming Next
MG Motor has launched the MG Hector SUV at an introductory price range of Rs 12.18-16.88 lakh. (Photo: MG Motor India website)

MG Hector Launched In India, Electric SUV Coming Next

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MG Motor India Pvt. Ltd. on Thursday launched the MG Hector SUV at an introductory price range of Rs 12.18-16.88 lakh. Deliveries of the car will start by first week of July.

The car will take on the likes of Mahindra XUV 500, Tata Harrier, Jeep Compass and Hyundai Creta, among others, inthe Rs 12-25 lakh SUV segment.

The MG Hector is the company's first model in India and will be followed by an electric SUV, the MG EZS, later this year. In 2020, MG Motor will launch two models in India.

Coming to MG Hector specifications, the SUV comes with 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol and two-litre diesel engine options. It also has 48-Volt hybrid option in the petrol variant. It has over 300 India-specific features to suit customer preferences and road conditions along with internet-enabled 50 connected features.

As MG Motors' first product for the Indian market, the Hector comes with ‘MG Shield', a package which provides complete assurance to customers regarding maintenance and ownership.

Commenting on the Hector launch, MG Motor India President and Managing Director Rajeev Chaba said the company has already received bookings of over 10,000 units since June 4. "We have had a good response to the Hector going by the bookings with customers not even knowing the price," said Chaba.

When asked about expectations from the MG Hector, considering it has been launched amid an auto sector slowdown, Chaba said: "Our current production capacity is for 2,000 units a month initially. So even if there are some booking cancellations, we would be doing around that number to start with."

Chaba expects auto sales pick up, especially in October-December period when there would be "lot of deals" as manufacturers will push to liquidate BS-IV inventory ahead of the transition to BS-VI emission norms in April 2020.

Also read: Why Kia, MG Motors And Citroen Are In For A Rough Ride In India

MG Motor India has already invested Rs 2,200 crore in setting up its business in the country, including the manufacturing plant at Halol in Gujarat and dealerships.

The plant has a production capacity of 80,000 units per annum and has the provision to increase the capacity going forward, depending on the requirement. The dealership count, which stands at 120 at present, will increase to 250 by September.

Overall, the company is looking at Rs 5,000 crore investment over a four-year period.

Also read: The Chinese Are Having a Go in a Market Where U.S. Cars Flopped

Speaking on MG Motor’s electic vehicle plans, Chaba said the company's next launch would be the MG EZS electric SUV, even if the infrastructure is not ready. "We cannot wait for development of infrastructure. We have the product ready, which also helps us in our image of innovation," Chaba said.

The MG EZS will be initially launched in five cities—Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. MG Motor India will provide home charging kits to customers and dealers in those cities having charging stations, he said.

Chaba, however, said that for electric vehicle sales to pick up in India, the government needs to come up with a proper long-term policy and support structure, unlike the periodic extensions witnessed with FAME-I scheme.

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