MG Motor India – the British brand owned by China’s SAIC Motor Corp – Monday launched midsize SUV Astor with prices tagged between Rs 9.78-16.78 lakh (ex-showroom) to take on the likes of Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and Skoda Kushaq.
The company will commence bookings for the vehicle from Oct 21, 2021. The first batch of around 5000 vehicles will be delivered in November and December this year.
Once the supply of semi-conductors improve in the first quarter of the next calendar year, MG Motor India expects deliveries to gain momentum. The company is looking at doubling sales volumes to 7000-8000 units per month next year, on back of the new launch.
Around 27,000 vehicles are sold in the midsize SUV segment every month. The segment has grown by 42% so far this year. Currently, Hyundai Creta currently dominates the category with a market share of about 42%.
In a recent interaction, MG Motor India President and Managing Director Rajeev Chaba had told ET given the challenges surfacing due to inadequate availability of semi-conductors globally, it is difficult to estimate the incremental volumes the company can clock from the new SUV. “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,” Chaba had said.
The company is operating at 60-70% of potential capacity currently due to the shortage of semiconductors.
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 its target to sell about 50,000 units this year, but said it is “challenging” in the current supply environment.
MG Motor India sold 28,162 vehicles in India in 2020, accounting for a 1.2% market share, outselling Volkswagen, Skoda, Nissan and FCA which have been present in this market for over a decade.
On the positive side, Chaba said, demand in the local market remains strong and the company is seeing strong traction for its products. “What we are seeing from consumer engagement with the Astor, continued interest in the MG Hector and growing interest in our electric vehicle, we will grow over last year and perform better than the industry.” Waiting period for its products currently stretches to 8-16 weeks.