The Indian subsidiary of Chinese-owned British automobile brand MG Motor India on Thursday stopped accepting bookings for the Hector, its first product for the domestic market, as it can’t cope with “overwhelming demand" for the mid-size sport utility vehicle (SUV) just six weeks from its launch.
While the Hector has received 21,000 bookings since its 4 June launch, the company currently produces approximately 2,000 units of the SUV per month.
According to the company, the top two variants of the Hector—Smart and Sharp—were in high demand, with over 50% reservations for the petrol variants.
“Our first product, MG Hector, has received an overwhelming response and we are unable to cater to such high initial demand. We are, therefore, closing bookings temporarily as this will help ensure timely and orderly deliveries to our customers who have shown tremendous confidence in MG," said Rajeev Chaba, president and managing director, MG Motor India.
“We are also working with our component suppliers to ramp up production in a gradual manner without any compromise on quality," he added. MG Motor’s manufacturing plant in Halol, Gujarat, has an annual capacity of 84,000 units, but it has been slowly scaling up production, and expects to roll out 3,000 units per month by October.
China’s SAIC-owned British vehicle manufacturer started operations in June with a network of 120 premium dealerships in India. It is looking to increase its dealer network to 250 by September.
The Hector competes with Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep Compass, Mahindra’s XUV 500 and Tata Motors’ Harrier in India.
Within the next one year, it is expected to see more competition with the launch of Kia Motors’ Seltos and Citroen’s Q5 Aircross.
To create a niche for itself, MG will also introduce its first electric vehicle in India. To showcase its technological prowess, the company is offering a petrol hybrid powertrain for the Hector, a first for the Indian market.