MG could target high volumes by entering into hatchback segment in the next three years by competing against big guns like Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai
Rajeev Chaba, President and Managing Director, MG Motor India, told in a recent interview that his company is encouraged by receiving more than 10,000 bookings for the newly launched Hector – first product from the Brtish brand for the domestic market. While being wary of the initial challenges for a new entrant in India, he is confident of making a huge impact.
MG has begun its local operations with 120 touchpoints and is planning to more than double the count by the end of this year. It is focussed on establishing a brand image firstly with the Hector that has been aggressively priced between Rs. 12.18 lakh and Rs. 16.88 lakh (ex-showroom). The Hector rivals Hyundai Creta, Tata Harrier, Mahindra XUV500 and Jeep Compass.
The Hector comes with several segment-first features and technologies to stand apart from the sea of mid-size SUVs. As Rajeev Chaba pointed out, MG is here for the long run and the strategic investment of Rs. 2,200 crore at the Halol plant in Gujarat stands in testament to the intent. The Hector is a premium product and it will be followed by another upscale offering as MG is following a top-down approach.
The eZS all-electric SUV will be introduced in India towards the later stages of 2019 before going on sale in January 2020. It will compete against Hyundai’s Kona EV that is scheduled to go on sale on July 9. The popularity of the Hector will be further utilised as a seven-seater version is in the pipeline for debut before April 2020 as well.
While the five-seater takes on Tata Harrier, the seven-seater will go up against the Harrier’s three-row derivate, the Buzzard. Expect it to be priced from Rs. 16.5 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh (ex-showroom). MG has made its intentions clear of bringing in cleaner emission based vehicles to India and the eZS is certainly a part of it.
It was earlier said that a sub-10 lakh electric model could be considered in the near future. Additionally, MG’s assault at the volume segments is expected to commence with a hatchback targetting masses. Chaba stated having “some conversations in this regards” and it will more likely be possible “in the next three years”.
The MG 3 hatchback could fit the bill perfectly to sit in the highly sought after premium hatchback segment against Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Hyundai Elite i20, Volkswagen Polo and Honda Jazz. We will have to wait and see whether it pans out or not.