Hope to finalise partner for MG Motor in two months: Yu De, International Operations Head, SAIC

Yu De, speaking on the sidelines at IAA Mobility 2023, highlighted India's significance for SAIC.

By Ketan Thakkar calendar 07 Sep 2023 Views icon8252 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Hope to finalise partner for MG Motor in two months: Yu De, International Operations Head, SAIC

SAIC Motor, China’s largest carmaker, has confirmed that it is in talks with JSW Group amongst a multitude of partners for an alliance for the Indian market for its MG Motor subsidiary. The company is hopeful of closing the deal in the next couple of months.

In an interview on the sidelines of IAA Mobility 2023 show in Munich, Yu De – GM for International Operation and the assistant to the president of SAIC Motor said that India is the most important for SAIC and it is in active discussion with potential partners that can help the brand penetrate deeper in the market.

De said he expects India could potentially break into top 2 markets in the future and SAIC is very keen on participating in this growth story.

The officials did not speak about the current geopolitical challenges – which has impacted the infusion of funds in India over the last few years.

When asked if SAIC has had conversations with Volkswagen Group, its alliance partner in China for the Indian market, De said they have had talks – with VW about India, but VW is amongst many other companies that SAIC has explored potential alliance with.

Excerpts from the Interview:

What is your view on the Indian market?
The Indian market is very important for SAIC, and we are seeking ways to improve our performance there. To be honest, our current performance in India is not meeting our expectations, as everything in the market is trending upward.

Maybe there are several issues - at times there were capacity issues, and we need to offer products that are a better fit for the Indian market. Additionally, we need to consider finding the right partner who can support us and collaborate effectively for success in the Indian market.

It is the most important market for us (outside China). It is a massive market and we need to have the right partner who is aligned with us and helps the Chinese mind understand the Indian market.

Are you in a hurry to conclude the talks?
We are in discussion with several partners. If something comes out of it, we will inform you.

Are the potential partners - financial partner, a corporate or an automotive company?
The most important thing for us is to have a potential partner who is aligned with our philosophy on the way to deal with customers. 

Why have you not been able to close the deal, can you close it in the next couple of months?
We will try to close it as soon as possible, hopefully in two months.

What about future product direction – where would you like to position yourself?
We have a very good portfolio for India both ICE and EVs. We are looking at products both for the mass market as well as premium products. Cyberstar unveiled here is a very nice car, if the customer likes it, we may bring it.

VW Group is looking for a partner for the low-cost EV? Will you explore the alliance with them?
We are talking with them and also other potential partners in India, we will let you know once finalised. 

VW and SAIC are very good friends in China and the relationship with VW is over 40 years. In India, Skoda has a presence as well as VW - how can we work together with each other and help improve the performance on both sides. We have explored everything.

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