SAIC opens Indian plant for MG brand

Automotive News China

Automotive News | 2019-5-14

SHANGHAI -- SAIC Motor Corp. launched MG output at its Indian plant in a bid to gain a foothold in the local market. 

The factory, in Halol city in the Indian state of Gujarat, can initially produce 80,000 vehicles a year, according to MG Motor India, SAIC¡¯s Indian subsidiary.

The first product assembled at the Halol plant is the MG Hector, a compact crossover. Hector production began last week.

MG will begin taking orders for the vehicle in June after it is shipped to the 65 dealerships it has established in 50 Indian cities, MG India said.

SAIC plans to introduce at least three other models under MG in India over the next two years. The next vehicle to be built at the factory this year will be a battery version of the MG ZS compact crossover. 

In 2017, SAIC purchased the idled Halol plant from General Motors and renovated it. 

It is the third factory the state-owned Chinese automaker has opened overseas, following two plants it runs in Thailand along with local business Charoen Pokphand Group.

In China, SAIC assembles MG models along with its Roewe-brand vehicles in Shanghai, Nanjing and Zhengzhou. 

In 2018, MG¡¯s global sales nearly doubled to about 270,000, with deliveries of some 200,000 in China and roughly 70,000 overseas, according to SAIC. 

SAIC obtained the MG brand from its state-owned peer, Nanjing Automobile Group Co. 

In 2005, Nanjing Auto purchased the brand from bankrupt U.K. automaker MG Rover in 2005. And in 2007, Nanjing Auto was acquired by SAIC.

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