MG Motor India moots new sub-Rs 15 lakh EV MPV and SUV

The new MG electric MPV is likely to hit the road within a year, and if all goes well, the model may well be launched before the end of 2024, but not later than March 2025.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 18 Mar 2024 Views icon30700 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
MG Motor India moots new sub-Rs 15 lakh EV MPV and SUV

Buoyed by a fresh fund infusion from the JSW Group, MG Motor – the British brand owned by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) – is set to revamp its electric vehicle play in the country and challenge Tata Motors with a big focus on mass market products. Sources say MG Motor is set to add two new electric vehicles based on E260 EV platform that will churn out a five-door SUV and compact MPV, which are likely to be positioned below Rs 15 lakh.

The EV play from MG Motor has witnessed a few ups and downs with the ZS EV getting off to a decent start, but its Comet EV is seeing acceptances only in niche segments. With the two new offerings, the British brand is aiming for a bigger play by challenging the segment leader. 

MG’s new MPV for India to be based on Wuling Cloud

The new MG electric MPV is likely to hit the road within a year, and if all goes well, the model could be launched before the end of 2024, but not later than March 2025, added sources. This new MPV will be based on the Wuling Cloud EV, which is sold in Indonesia at the moment. It is around 4.3 metres long and has a wheelbase of 2,700mm, which is slightly shorter than the Maruti Ertiga (2,740mm) and a tad more than the Renault Triber (2,636mm).  Apart from catering to family buyers, the three-row EV will be aimed at the fleet segment too, which also enjoys the FAME benefit from the Government of India.

Tata Motors has the Tigor X-Pres T EV, BYD has the E6 MPV and few of the Mahindra and MG models are seen in the fleet market, but the segment has remained highly untapped at present. In a market of about 81,000 units per annum, only about 10-15 percent of the market caters to the fleet space.

Having started with the ZS EV, and followed it by the entry-level Comet, MG wants the new MPV and SUV to bridge critical gaps in its portfolio and expand the addressable customer base of around Rs 15 lakh, which is becoming a nice sweet spot for upgraders in the market. 

The all-new EV based on the same vehicle architecture is likely to follow within three to six months in the personal buyer’s space. This SUV will be a five-door rugged vehicle on the lines of the Maruti Jimny and will be based on the Baojun Yep Plus SUV, as reported by us earlier.

MG Motor today has a market share of about 1 percent in a highly competitive Indian market with 5 models in its portfolio. It sells approximately 5,000 units per month, with EVs accounting for 10-20 percent of its total sales, depending on the month.

MG Motor has predicted almost 50 percent of its total sales will come from EVs in the coming years. The company has in fact announced that it will be looking at local assembly of batteries at its factory in Halol and MG is also looking at additional land on the outskirts of Vadodara to almost double its capacity to over 3 lakh units per annum.

Rajeev Chaba, the CEO Emeritus of MG Motor India, had shared its long-term plan for India with its 2.0 and 3.0 strategy in Delhi in May 2023. The company had announced that it was in the process of Indianising itself across various aspects including ownership, board structure, manufacturing footprint and localising of supply chain.

Chaba had said that while the 2.0 plan was for the period from 2023 to 2025 which entails the expansion of capacity from 70,000 units per annum to 1.2 lakh units, once the new investor is brought on board later in 2023, the funds raised from divestment will be used in expansion of plant capacity from 1.2 lakh units to three lakh units, as part of its 3.0 plan.

Consequently, in November 2023, SAIC – MG Motor India’s parent – and JSW had entered into a strategic JV in November of 2023. Autocar had exclusively reported on a potential partnership between MG Motor and JSW in April 2023.

In its official statement the announcement of the partnership, both companies in a joint statement had said that SAIC Motor and JSW Group will create strategic synergies by bringing together resources in the field of automobiles and new technology. The joint venture will also undertake multiple new initiatives including augmenting local sourcing, improving charging infrastructure, expansion of production capacity, and introducing a broader range of vehicles with a focus on green mobility.

According to the agreement signed, JSW will hold 35 percent in the Indian JV operations. SAIC will continue supporting the joint venture with advanced technology and products to deliver extraordinary mobility solutions with an unwavering focus on the Indian consumer.

With the infusion of equity by JSW Group, the exact contours of its future plans are likely to be revealed in a couple of days. So, stay tuned for more detailed plans from the British brand.

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