Launched in India on 27th June 2019, MG Motor had to stop accepting bookings for their first ever car in India from 18th July 2019. In just 22 days since launch, MG India amassed over 21,000 bookings for the Hector. This was not expected, not by the company or by analysts.
If you look at the segment sales, they have been steadily declining. From 5,849 units sold in March 2019, the segment sales have declined by about 45% in June 2019, registering 3,136 units.
The segment comprises of rivals like Tata Harrier, Mahindra XUV500, Jeep Compass. The decline in sales is as if car buyers in the segment were specifically waiting for the MG Hector or the soon to be launched Kia Seltos.
With segment sales at about 4,000 units on average, MG India had decided to keep production capacity at 2,000 units; which logically is appropriate. But the booking numbers received by MG Hector, defies these troubled times which the auto industry is going through. With production capacity currently at just 2,000 units, those who booked the MG Hector recently, are looking at waiting period of up to 10 months.
But that is not going to be the case. MG India plans on delivering all the 21,000 orders booked till date by end of 2019. This will be made possible as the British car brand has announced to increase production of Hector to 3,000 units from October 2019. So when will MG India re-open bookings? Well, the company said that they will start accepting bookings again, but at a later date. The date has not been announced yet.
This is not the first time something like this has happened in the passenger car segment. Back in 2011, Mahindra experienced the same, when they launched the XUV500. Mahindra was in a similar situation like MG India. Mahindra had not expected the demand, and as such the production capacity was not able to meet demand.
Within a few days post launch, they closed bookings. Mahindra XUV500 bookings numbers were so high, that the car maker had to introduce a lottery system in order to allot the SUV. This went on for the entire of first year. After Mahindra increased production, the waiting period started reducing, and the SUV bookings were re-opened.