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MG Motor India to focus on EVs, won’t introduce new diesel model

MG Motor India will not introduce any new diesel model in the country and plans to focus on electric vehicles going forward. The company recently launched the new MG ZS EV, priced between Rs 21.99 lakh – Rs 25.88 lakh (ex-showroom).

2022 MG ZS EV

MG Motor India, which launched the new ZS EV on Monday, will not introduce any new diesel model in the country and plans to focus on electric vehicles going forward, a top company official said. It currently has four SUV models in its portfolio: Astor, Hector, Gloster and ZS EV.

While Astor only has petrol engine options, Hector and Gloster have both petrol and diesel powertrain choices.

“If you look at our diesel portfolio, we have Hector diesel and Gloster diesel. These are high-end SUVs and in that segment, there is still demand. But because our whole game plan in future is for EVs and more electrification, and also on sustainability … these are our last diesel models, and we will continue diesel only for Hector and Gloster. We will not introduce any new diesel model,” Rajeev Chaba, president and managing director, MG Motor India, told FE at the launch of the new ZS EV.

The new MG ZS EV is priced between Rs 22 lakh and Rs 25.88 lakh (ex-showroom). It uses a 50.3 kWh lithium-ion battery and offers a claimed range of 461 km in a single full charge. Among its rivals are Hyundai Kona Electric —priced between Rs 23.79 lakh and Rs 23.98 lakh (ex-showroom) and with a 39.2 kWh lithium-ion battery offering a claimed range of 452 km in a single full charge — and Tata Nexon EV, which sits in the price bracket of Rs 14.29 lakh to Rs 16.90 lakh (ex-showroom) and gets a 30.2 kWh lithium-ion battery with a claimed range of 312 km in a single full charge.

MG Motor India’s retail sales increased 43% to 40,273 units in 2021. The company could have sold close to 60,000 units had it not been for the semiconductor shortage, according to Chaba. The company is targeting volumes of close to 75,000 units in 2022 and 1,20,000 units in 2023.

“We achieved only two-thirds (in 2021) because of the semiconductor shortage, and this year though it has improved, we still feel this shortage will continue for the whole year. But because we launched Astor recently and also due to some improvements, we are expecting almost 70% growth this year in our volumes. So we should end up doing 70,000-75,000 units this year,” Chaba said.

“We also expect the same 70% growth next year. So then we will be tripling our sales from 40,000 units last year to 1,20,000 units next year,” he said.

MG Motor India will launch its second electric vehicle in the country in the first quarter of 2023. While Chaba said it will be priced between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 15 lakh (ex-showroom), he did not share details.

“Because of these two EVs, 25% of our sales will be from EVs in 2023, meaning 30,000 cars out of 120,000 cars will be EVs,” Chaba said.

MG Motor India delivered nearly 3,000 EVs in 2021 and is targeting sales of 6,000 to 8,000 EVs in 2022. The company aims to sell 10,000 units of ZS EV and 20,000 units of its second electric vehicle in 2023.

Regarding the semiconductor shortage, Chaba said the company is facing a lot of headwinds. “We are facing problems from Bosch in particular; Bosch gives us the chips and is our collaborator in China. Bosch is facing capacity enhancement issues. So I don’t know exactly what’s the shortage at their end. As you know, chip is a very complicated part. We were hoping last year that the situation would improve, but unfortunately, it is not improving and my information and judgment says maybe [it] will continue to [be a] struggle all this year,” Chaba said.

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