SAIC-controlled MG Motor India is exploring a debut in the SUV segment, which is dominated by the Kia Seltos and the Hyundai Creta, with a petrol version of the ZS.
In January, MG Motor had launched its first fully electric vehicle in India called the ZS EV. Now the same model could be used for housing a compact petrol engine to compete in the Rs 9-15 lakh priced SUV category.
“MG Motor has floated a request for quotation (RFQ) for a petrol version of the ZS which it intends to bring to the market next year,” said an industry source. RFQs are floated in the market by automakers for sourcing components from manufacturers.
The ZS is as long and wide, but slightly shorter than the Seltos. MG already sells the petrol version of the ZS in the UK market where it is powered by a choice of 1.5 litre naturally aspirated and 1.0 litre turbocharged engines. The MG Hector comes powered by a 1.5 litre turbocharged petrol engine and a 2.0 litre diesel engine.
The ZS will be the fourth product by MG Motor in India after the Hector, ZS EV and Gloster. The company, however, has refused to divulge details of the new SUV due to competitive reasons.
Rajeev Chaba, president and managing director, MG Motor India said, “I have no comments to make on our product pipeline. We are on course to launch our fourth product which happens next year. It is slightly early for us to reveal what that product would be. Right now our focus is on the Hector six-seater and the Gloster.
The Kia Seltos, priced at a little under Rs 10 lakh, is the largest-selling SUV in India. Since launch in June, the Seltos has seen average sales of a little over 9,100 units per month including a best of 15,000 units in one of the months last financial year.
The Hyundai Creta, meanwhile, clocked over 6,800 units in average monthly sales last year. Weeks before the nation-wide lockdown was announced Hyundai launched the all-new Creta with a starting price of under Rs 10 lakh.
The entry mid-size segment sees an average of 20,000-22,000 units a month from seven models. A year ago the monthly sales run-rate stood at around 13,000 units generated by five models. More than 75 percent of this segment is controlled by Kia and Hyundai.Considering the demand trend, more companies are looking to place a model in this segment. Volkswagen and Skoda will have a model each in this segment. New players like Great Wall Motors and Citroen will also debut in this segment. Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors are expected to have products in this segment in the next 12-24 months.