SAIC Motor Corporation, the largest automobile manufacturer in China, has officially announced plans to enter the Indian automobile market through a fully-owned car manufacturing facility. Operations are expected to commence in 2019.
With this, SAIC Motor becomes the first Chinese automobile major to enter the Indian passenger vehicle market which is billed to be the third largest in the world by the year 2020. In 2016-17, the PV sales in India crossed the three-million mark for the first time.
SAIC Motor has not released specific details about the location and capacity of the manufacturing plant in India. The company says it is in the process of finalising its manufacturing facility and is firming up its product strategy for India, details of which will be announced at a later stage.
The Shanghai-headquartered SAIC Motor, which owns the MG, Roewe and Maxus brands, has successful partnerships with Volkswagen and General Motors and JVs including SAIC-VW, SAIC-GM and SGMW, has an annual turnover of over US$ 100 billion (Rs 631,700 crore).
MG brand for India
The company plans to manufacture vehicles in India under the iconic MG (Morris Garages) brand. “The introduction of the MG brand in India is an important part of SAIC Motor’s global strategy. Our aim is to provide best-in-class vehicles, integrating sophisticated British design and quality, breakthrough product features and a pleasing ownership experience,” the company said in a statement.
The MG brand, which originated as an iconic British racing sports brand in the year 1924, has evolved into a modern-day innovative brand through the last 93 years. MG products, which are designed and engineered at its European and global design centres, will now also be manufactured in India while conforming to global quality standards and aligning with the Indian regulations, emission norms and driving conditions.
With the establishment of its fully-owned subsidiary, MG Motor India, the company today also announced some senior level appointments. Rajeev Chaba, who has over two decades of experience in the automotive sector, will be the president and managing director of MG Motor India. Rajeev’s last assignment was as global COO in Vanguard Logistics, USA and as an operating partner of ManCapital, a UK based private equity firm. Prior to that, he had worked in leading automobile companies in senior positions at different locations including Dubai, India, Japan and China. P Balendran, who has spent over 18 years in global automobile companies in senior positions, has been appointed executive director.