MG Motor well established in India, exploring different possibilities of growth: SAIC Motor chairman

Chen Hong, chairman of China’s largest automaker, says the company is actively “exploring different possibilities" of growing in India and how it can benefit the Indian consumer.

By Ketan Thakkar calendar 07 Sep 2023 Views icon5641 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
MG Motor well established in India, exploring different possibilities of growth: SAIC Motor chairman

SAIC Motor, China’s largest automaker, is exploring multiple options of expanding in the growing Indian automobile market. Chen Hong, chairman of SAIC Motor, says "MG Motor has established itself well" and the company is "exploring different possibilities" of growing in the Indian market.

Speaking to select Indian media on the sidelines of the IAA Mobility 2023 how in Munich, Hong said: "Everything is being discussed. We are looking at how we can benefit the Indian customer . . . that is our first priority."

MG Motor has already invested over Rs 5,000 crore in the Indian operation since its entry half-a-decade ago and it has been eagerly wanting to kick-start its second phase of investment in the country.

The FDI proposal from the company has been pending with the government of India for over a couple of years due to the sensitive situation at the India-China border. While there was no comment on the geo-political situation, Wong said the company is exploring partners and there are multiple proposals for the project at this stage.

MG Motor has been engaged in a dialogue with the JSW Group for over a couple of quarters, now apart from discussions on sale of stake to companies like Reliance in the past as per reports.

According to people in the know, both the top management of SAIC and Sajjan Jindal, chairman of the JSW Group, were at the IAA Mobility Show in Munich this week and the partners may have had a further discussion on the project. Autocar Professional had exclusively reported about a potential deal between MG Motor and JSW Group in April.

In May this year, MG Motor India’s CEO Emeritus Rajeev Chaba had announced plans to divest stake to local partners in an effort to raise over Rs 5,000 crore.

Chaba had told media persons in Delhi that the company has defined its long-term plan till 2028. As part of its 2.0 and 3.0 strategy, the company is in the process of bringing in a partner which will likely alter various aspects of the company including ownership, board structure, manufacturing footprint and localising of supply chain.

Along with plans to expand the portfolio and add more electric vehicles in the future, Chaba had also announced plans of assembling batteries at the factory following the fund raise.

MG Motor entered India in September 2017 by acquiring General Motors India’s Halol plant. It has been manufacturing vehicles over the past four to five years but since the factory is over a decade-and-a-half old, there is a limitation to the extent to which the brand can produce. Hence, it has been actively exploring a second plant in India for over a couple of years now.

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