During our recent visit to China we got a chance to get acquainted with MG Motor’s parent company SAIC. We learnt that the company’s first product which is slated to be launched in India in the second half of next year will be an SUV larger than the likes of Honda CR-V and Hyundai Tucson. However, we expect the pricing to belong to this segment, making the MG SUV a good value-for-money offering.
A fleet of three camouflaged SUV prototypes have been recently spotted along with a Hyundai Tucson which is registered to MG Motor India. This clearly indicates that the Chinese automaker is benchmarking its first Indian product against the premium South Korean crossover. MG Motor India MD, Mr Rajeev Chaba has revealed that the SUV is a mid sized C segment SUV. It is not a Hyundai Creta rival in any way, but a much bigger and a more premium offering.
The test mules of the MG SUV which we see on test on our roads today are derived from the Chinese-spec Baojun 530. These are being produced at the company’s Halol plant (previously owned by General Motors). The plant is being completely revamped. MG Motor tookover the plant in September 2017, and have plans to launch their first car by Q2 2019. A number of prototypes are undergoing intense trials across the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra.
The premium SUV from MG Motors is expected to be powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine and a 2.0-litre turbo diesel (sourced from FCA). The top-end variants are expected to be equipped with automatic transmission and AWD capability.
The Tucson / Compass rival would feature an upmarket interior with soft-touch materials, plush leather seats, a stand-alone touchscreen infotainment systems, multiple airbags, and a whole host of other goodies. The first MG SUV would be a 5-seater but the company is reportedly considering a 7-seater for the future.
MG Motor India is planning to achieve a high level of localization right from the start to arrive at a very competitive pricing. It is imperative for the Chinese automaker to get its first product right in our market, and an attractive price tag would go a long way.