MG GS SUV could be first MG Motors Car In India, followed by MG XS compact SUV and MG 3 premium hatchback
SAIC recently proclaimed its plans to venture into India under its local subsidiary, ‘MG Motor India’ with the first product likely to launch in 2019. The Chinese auto giant acquired MG Motors 10 years ago and is now eyeing its India entry through this British car marque. While SAIC is yet to decide on its production unit in India, reports in media suggest it is in talks with GM to buy the Halol factory. Furthermore, the company is also said to be looking at using GM India’s dealership network, reports opine. While SAIC is yet to chalk out a plan for its entry in India, we are more interested in the products it could introduce here.
The first model from MG Motors India could be the MG GS SUV. Primarily a soft-roader, it is based on a modular SUV platform and offers good space on the inside. Dimensionally, MG GS measures 4,500mm in length, 1,855mm in width and 1,665mm in height. With similar proportions as that of Hyundai Tucson, it is likely to be positioned in the same segment. The company might have to work on the interior styling to make it more upmarket.
In the UK market, the SUV is available in Explore, Excite and Exclusive variants. While it sources power from the 1.5-litre petrol engine, a new 1.6-litre diesel unit will soon be added to the line-up. Considering that diesel engines are popular in India, MG Motors could bring both the models here.
The next product that is likely to be introduced in India is the MG XS compact SUV. Based on the larger sibling, GS, it carries contemporary styling and will take on the compact SUVs in India. It is to be noted that XS has been designed by SAIC design and is likely to come with two petrol engines including a 1.0-litre, turbocharged engine with 123PS and a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated motor based on MG 3. In addition, it could also receive a diesel engine later. On the inside, it is a far cry from the GS SUV with better looks and a large touchscreen infotainment system.
It is imperative to have a hatchback in the line-up for every carmaker in the Indian market. Carrying European traits, the MG 3 is a premium hatchback that will rival Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Hyundai Elite i20 in the segment. Power on the hatchback comes from a 105bhp, 1.5-litre petrol unit mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Packed with plethora of in-cabin tech, the hatchback has a spacious cabin.
It is expected that MG Motors could also roll-out a premium executive sedan, that will go up against Hyundai Elantra and the likes. The international model features a 1.9-litre oil burner with 148bhp and 350Nm torque, while time takes to achieve the 0 to 100kmph mark is just 8.4 seconds.
Irrespective of the popularity of these models in the international markets, MG Motors will have to tweak them in line with the Indian market. Additionally, the company will also need to set up an after sales network before they start operations in India.