MG Motor India is evaluating a second shift on its assembly line at Halol plant to increase production capacity of its Hector sports utility vehicle to 3,000 units by September end, Rajeev Chaba, president and managing director, told Mint on Thursday.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the day-long annual convention organized by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) at New Delhi today.
The Indian subsidiary of Chinese-owned British automobile brand had stopped accepting bookings for its SUV on 19 July within a month of its launch after receiving 28,000 bookings. “We started with capacity to roll out 1,500 units, followed by 2,000 units. We are looking to stabilize our production capacity at 3,000 units per month first. We don’t intend to reopen bookings very soon unless we have visibility on deliveries," Chaba said.
Customers have a current wait time of up to 8 months on the delivery of MG Hector.
Chaba said the company is also talking to suppliers of critical parts on their respective capacity building programmes. “We want to steadily build it without rushing into any compromise on quality and capability aspects at the supplier end," he added.
The company’s plan to bring out four products over the next two-three years is on schedule. “We have four products in the pipeline and we are sticking to that," he said.
The automaker will launch its electric SUV eZS by the end of the year via complete knocked down (CKD) route.
“While EV localization will take its own time, we want to be at the forefront of the EV revolution. We expect that within two-three years of our EV launch, we should have a sizeable portion. We are still waiting for the response from our component suppliers on EV localization," Chaba said.
MG Motor India is tying up with several electric vehicle charging station vendors to set up infrastructure across five cities -- Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
Commenting on Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s keynote address earlier at the convention, Chaba said “I think it is good to get clarity from the minister on BS-VI norms, EVs and the continuation of petrol and diesel cars. I think the government never banned them. His comments are overall welcoming and I think what he said completely makes sense as both the government and the industry have to play crucial role advancing the (growth of) auto industry."
“Although in India we have some internal issues such as BS-VI transition, liquidity issues linked to NBFCs, if you see the overall automotive market globally, it is declining right now. So we need to be disruptive," he added.
Chaba said consumers’ propensity to spend has not reduced over the past quarters. “Nevertheless, sentiments are in bad shape," he added.