The maker of Hector and Astor SUVs also assured its dealers on the sustenance of its Indian operations and brand MG post the deal, the automaker informed the dealer partners last week. The company also touched upon plans to launch new models and variants and expand the overall capacity in its communication to the dealers.
“Customers are at the core of everything that we do at MG India. We are looking at all avenues of growth and expansion in the country and network development is indeed an integral part of our growth strategy. We are fortifying our pan-India presence from the current 330 touchpoints in 158 cities to 400 in 270 cities by December 2023,” a spokesperson for MG Motor India said in response to questions on the company’s plans for its retail network. The spokesperson declined to comment on capacity expansion plans and the company’s discussions with dealers saying the “questions are speculative.”
China’s SAIC Motor and Sajjan Jindal are in the final leg of forming their partnership. ET reported on 5 October that a formal announcement involving MG Motor India, the wholly owned arm of the Shanghai-based automaker that owns the British automotive marque Morris Garages and a Sajjan Jindal-led private firm is likely to be made either later this month or by Diwali.
MG Motor is expected to conclude the exercise of identifying dealers within a week to 10 days, according to the internal circular sent by a top company official to its dealer development head last week.
“They have asked existing dealer principals to expand the number of outlets. Those who are unwilling to do so because of lack of financial muscle or are under performance need to be prepared for a scenario when some large dealer will buy out the underperforming outlets,” said a person privy to the restructuring exercise.MG is looking to more than double annual capacity from 120,000 vehicles to 300,000 vehicles by 2025, said a second person aware of the plans. With the company’s sole factory at Halol, Gujarat running at an optimal capacity, the expansion will have to be done at another manufacturing unit.MG Motor’s capacity has remained stagnant in the past two years in line with subdued sales. Annual sales touched only 48,867 units in FY23 even though the company had received encouraging response for its early models.
Meanwhile, MG’s potential partner, the private firm of JSW Group, has been in talks with the Tamil Nadu government to acquire Ford Motor’s shuttered plant in Chennai. The facility is likely to be re-tooled as an electric vehicle manufacturing plant for SAIC and JSW.
Last month, delivering a talk at Krea University in Sri City in Andhra Pradesh, Jindal made a mention of the upcoming car project in Chennai. “I have a big connect with South India. Our future car project—an EV car project that I am very passionate about, is coming up in Chennai. Though I am a North Indian living in Mumbai, most of my business and my connect is with the South,” he said. Jindal was speaking at an event hosted by the private university to mark the inauguration of the JSW academic building.