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MG Motor launches SUV Hector in India

The Hector is the company's first model in India and will be followed by an electric SUV 'EZS' later this year.

June 27, 2019 / 06:30 PM IST
To spice up the Hector lineup, MG is now offering the SUV with two new dual-tone paint options.

To spice up the Hector lineup, MG is now offering the SUV with two new dual-tone paint options.

British automobile manufacturer MG Motors made its debut in India today, with the launch of the Hector SUV. The car gets an introductory base price of Rs. 12.18 lakh and will be delivered from the first week of July onwards.

The Hector is MG’s first vehicle in India, but will be followed by its electric model, the eZS. Commenting on the launch, MG Motor India President and Managing Director Rajeev Chaba said the company has already received bookings of over 10,000 units since it opened on June 4. "We have had a good response to the Hector going by the bookings with customers not even knowing the price," he added.

The company currently has a production capacity of 2000 units per month. It has invested Rs 2,200 crore in setting up its business in the country, including the manufacturing plant at Halol in Gujarat and dealerships, among others. It is expecting an investment of Rs. 5000 crores in the next four years.

MG Motors has also given the Hector an ‘MG Shield’, which gives complete assurance to customers regarding maintenance and ownership. This gives the owner a 5-year/unlimited km comprehensive warranty, if the vehicle is privately owned. It also includes free roadside 24*7 assistance, and no labour charges for the first five scheduled services.

It is also one of India’s first connected cars, as it gets an eSIM which connects to the internet. This gives the user major control over the car using a smartphone. The car can read biometrics, navigate as per traffic, display the car health status and have AI assistance among others. MG has also stated that it will introduce over-the-air (OTA) updates to analyse the driver experience and personalise it in the SUV.

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The Hector borrows its 2-litre multijet diesel engine from the Jeep Compass and Tata Harrier, but it also has an optional 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine. The diesel motor pumps out 173 PS and 350 Nm of peak torque, while the petrol engine makes 143 PS and 250 Nm of peak torque. Both the engines are mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, but a 6-speed DCT gearbox is also available for the petrol variant.

The car has a base price of Rs. 12.18 lakhs (Ex-showroom) for the petrol variant, while the top trim diesel variant goes for Rs. 16.88 lakh (Ex-showroom). This puts it in the price league of other SUVs such as Mahindra XUV500 and Tata Harrier. However, with a considerable technological upper hand, it can be expected that the Hector will pose as a tough competitor to other cars in its segment.

Next year, the company will launch two new models in India. Hector comes with 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol and 2-litre diesel engine options. It also has a 48volt hybrid option in the petrol variant.

The Hector will take on the likes of Mahindra's XUV 500, Tata Harrier, Jeep Compass, Hyundai's Creta, among others in Rs 12-25 lakh SUV segment.

Commenting on market conditions, Chaba said it is expected to pick up, specially in October-December period when there would be "lot of deals" as manufacturers seek to liquidate BS-IV inventory ahead of transition to BS-VI in April next year.

On electric vehicles, he said the company has decided to bring in its EZS SUV even if the infrastructure is not ready. "We cannot wait for development of infrastructure. We have the product ready, which also helps us in our image of innovation," Chaba said.

The EV will be launched initially in five cities namely Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. MG Motor India will provide home charging kits to customers besides its dealers in those cities having charging stations, he said.

Chaba, however, said that for EVs to pick up in India, the government needs to come up with a proper long-term policy and support structure, unlike the periodic extensions witnessed with FAME I scheme.

(With inputs from PTI)
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jun 27, 2019 02:05 pm

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