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Chinese automaker SAIC announces India entry, will start making cars in 2019

SAIC Motor Corp is entering India with its MG Motor India subsidiary, which will start manufacturing cars in 2019.

autos Updated: Jun 28, 2017 15:55 IST
Gulshankumar Wankar
Gulshankumar Wankar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
SAIC,Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation,SAIC in India
SAIC Motor Corp is entering India with its MG Motor India subsidiary, which will start manufacturing cars in 2019.(Reuters file photo)

SAIC Motor Corporation Ltd on Wednesday announced plans to enter India and start manufacturing cars by 2019, becoming the first Chinese automaker to venture in what will be the world’s third biggest auto market by 2020.

SAIC, formerly Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, will start making cars at its fully-owned manufacturing facility by 2019. SAIC is still negotiating to take over the General Motors’ Halol factory which closed operations on April 28 this year.

In India, SAIC has already registered its local subsidiary, MG Motors India. The company has roped in former GM India executives to lead its India operations -- Rajeev Chhaba will be president and managing director while P Balendran will be the executive director.

The largest automobile company in China stands 46th in the Fortune Global 500 list, with annual revenue of over $100 billion. The state-owned automaker has joint ventures in China with Detroit-headquartered GM and Germany’s Volkswagen, with brands such as MG, Roewe and Maxus under its belt.

Outside China, SAIC is present in several global markets including UK, USA, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Middle East, South East Asia, Thailand and Indonesia. It even has an ‘Overseas Innovation Center’ in Silicon Valley, California.

What models will SAIC bring to India under the MG badge remains a mystery. Founded in 1924, the Morris Garage has seen several change of hands before China’s Nanjing Automobile Group acquired it in 2005. It came under the SAIC umbrella after SAIC merged with Nanjing in 2008.

“The introduction of the iconic British Sports Car Brand ‘MG’ in India is an important part of SAIC Motor’s global strategy. Our aim is to provide best-in-class vehicles, integrating sophisticated British design and quality, breakthrough product features and a pleasing ownership experience,” the company said in a statement.

“As a new-age auto company focused on innovation and technology, the company offers various solutions and technological capabilities required in the development of ‘new energy vehicles’, to cater to the changing needs of global customers and the overall ecosystem,” the statement added.

First Published: Jun 28, 2017 15:55 IST