MG Motor India hopes to double sales this year riding on new SUV Astor

mg motor, saic motor corp, hector suv, mg astor, Rajeev Chaba

MG Motor, the British brand owned by China’s SAIC Motor Corp, is expected to outperform the Indian market this year and double the sales in 2022, the country head of the maker of the Hector SUV said.

A new mid-size SUV, the MG Astor, unveiled on Wednesday is expected to be a key driver of the growth, even as the company also predicts the supply shortage of semiconductors, which is causing automakers globally to slash production, to improve by the January-March quarter of 2022.

“Right now, we do not have clarity on the availability of parts with chips,” Rajeev Chaba, president of MG Motor India, told ET on the sidelines of the unveiling of the MG Astor. He refused to talk about the incremental volumes the company is expecting from the new SUV, as it would not be “fair” in the current “challenging” conditions. “We are facing problems in every car line. Once supplies stabilise, we are confident we should be able to double (overall) volumes to 7,000-8,000 units every month.”

MG Motor is operating at 60-70% of potential capacity currently due to the shortage of semiconductors. While the supply of the chips is expected to improve in the first quarter of 2022, it may take up to a year for the situation to completely normalise, Chaba said.

MG Motor though will go ahead with its plans to scale up investments to expand capacity at its manufacturing facility at Halol in Gujarat to attain sales of 80,000-100,000 units in 2022. The company is working at achieving 50,000 units sales this year but Chaba said it is “challenging” in the current supply environment. It sold 28,162 vehicles in India in 2020, accounting for a 1.2% market share, outselling Volkswagen, Skoda, Nissan and FCA.

On the positive side, Chaba said, demand was building up with the approach of the festive season and the company was seeing strong traction for its products.

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