Chinese auto maker SAIC Motor Corporation will enter the India market with its once British MG brand for which it plans to have its fully-owned car manufacturing plant in the country.
The company expects to commence operations in the country by 2019 and is in the process of finalizing its manufacturing facility, SAIC Motor Corporation said in a statement. Besides, the company said, it is firming up product strategy for the market here, details of which will be announced later.
It will operate in the Indian through the fully-owned subsidiary ‘MG Motor India’ and has appointed ex-General Motors India head Rajeev Chaba as its President and MD. It is also bringing in industry veteran P Balendran as Executive Director.
As part of entry plans, the company would introduce environment-friendly mobility solutions under its iconic ‘MG’ (Morris Garages) brand.
The introduction of the iconic British sports car brand ‘MG’ in India is an important part of SAIC Motor’s global strategy.
The MG brand, which originated as an iconic British Racing Sports Brand in 1924, has evolved into a modern-day innovative brand through the last 93 years.
MG products, designed and engineered at its European and global design centers, will be manufactured in India while conforming to global quality standards and aligning with the Indian regulations, emission norms and driving conditions, the company said.
SAIC had earlier this year signed a term sheet to evaluate buying the Halol plant of General Motors in Gujarat after the American company decided to stop production as part of consolidation of manufacturing operations in India.
The Chinese company, however, did not enter into a formal agreement insisting that deal was subject to GM’s submission of all government approvals, settlement of labour and all other pending issues.
According to industry sources, the talks between the two players are ongoing despite delays. SAIC Motor said it expects to create sizable employment opportunities under the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ initiatives.
In 2009, SAIC had bought 50 per cent stake in General Motors India during the bankruptcy crisis faced by the US auto major. Later, GM had bought back the stake. SAIC is currently ranked 46th in the Fortune Global 500 list with an annual revenue of over USD 100 billion.
Note: This article originally appeared in whole or part in The Times of India.