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MG Motor is going through a splendid ride in India. The overwhelming bookings of its recently launched SUV Astor prove MG Motor’s acceptance here in the country. The global semiconductor shortage has hit the car maker too, but it is trying to overcome the waiting period. MG is also keen to improve its EV portfolio and infrastructure. Rajeev Chaba, the President and Managing Director of MG Motor India explained company’s roadmap with us.

How has the festive season started for MG Motor? What sort of growth do you expect this season vis-a-vis last season?

We have entered the festive season on a high note as we launched SUV MG Astor. The mid-size SUV with an AI inside and Autonomous Level 2 technology has been perceived very well in the market. We are grateful for the response from our customers. Consequently, we are expecting a further increase in growth compared to the last season. In this year, until September, we have registered a consistent rise in our retail sales despite the production challenges. 

All our SUVs have been recording a higher number of inquiries. MG ZS EV had registered more than 600 bookings in September. Last month, our retail sales were 28% more than the same time the previous year. The figures indicate a rising demand in the market, and we are making the best effort to keep up with it. It is challenging to keep up with the demand amid a global semiconductor chip shortage, which has hampered the production and deliveries of cars, significantly.

How has been the response to your newly launched Astor? Can you give some data on current booking numbers?

MG Motor SUV Astor
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MG Motor SUV Astor

We have commenced the priority bookings of Astor for 2022. Last week, our batch for 2021 was booked and sold out within 20 minutes of bookings opening. The number is clearly indicative of the kind of good response we have for the Astor. We will start the delivery of the first batch of Astor from 1st November.   

What is the current update on the semiconductor shortage crisis? Are you able to fulfil orders, or is there a long waiting period?

Semiconductor shortage is a global crisis, and we are impacted by it significantly. In September, our production came down by almost one-third due to the chip shortage. Currently, availability has come down further due to the continued challenge of chip shortages with 50% reduction in Oct. We are going to face this challenge for a few more months. Since there is robust demand supported by the festival season, we are trying our best to bring down the waiting period. Our customers have been informed in advance about the delay in deliveries. 

After Ford's exodus announcement, what sort of jump have you seen in Gloster demand?

We have been registering a higher demand for all our SUVs in the past few months. It means a higher demand for Gloster as well. Our commitment towards providing our customers with the best-in-class services and cars remains unfazed. 

How does MG Motor plan to extend its EV range, and what has been the response in this segment in India?

At MG, we are committed to introducing mobility solutions that are both futuristic and sustainable to the Indian automotive industry. Under our CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric) vision, we launched India’s first electric SUV, MG ZS EV, which continues to see higher demand in the market. With the launch of the electric SUV, we also began our campaign #ChangeWhatYouCan. It encourages people to go for electric vehicles, which offer both performance and style. 

Currently, our electric SUV offers a range of 419 kms. Considering that the Indian market is still in its nascent stage of EV adoption, we have led the 5-way infrastructure development approach. It includes DC fast-charging stations, residential/office chargers, and an on-the-go charging facility under our roadside assistance, along with an onboard AC charging cable and charging stations across satellite cities. 

We will join hands with more like minded stakeholders to keep improving EV environment infrastructure. We will be further expanding the charging infrastructure to ease the range anxiety among people. Our core value doesn’t just include innovating but also enabling an environment to nurture new ideas. In line with this thought, we have given a ZS EV to IIT Delhi for further research and development on EV-Tech. We want to see more developments in the EV sector. 

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