SUVs are gaining popularity all around the world and things are not different in India either. In India, sub-4 meter compact SUV segment is one of the most highly competitive segment. Almost every manufacturer has their presence in this segment. People like sub-4 meter SUVs because they offer an SUV look and offer more space than a regular hatchback. The price is another factor. Most of the cars in this segment are priced competitively. MG Motor, who has been in the Indian market since 2019 is now gearing up to enter the sub-4 meter SUV segment with their new SUV.
MG India currently has Hector, Hector Plus, ZS EV and Gloster SUVs in their Indian portfolio. The manufacturer has now confirmed their plans to expand their portfolio by entering the sub-4 meter SUV segment. Currently this segment consists of cars like of Maruti Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Tata Nexon, Kia Sonet, Mahindra XUV300, Ford EcoSport and recently launched Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger.
Earlier, MG had plans to rebadge and re-engineer Baojun 510 SUV into a sub-4 meter SUV but, after looking at the success of MG Hector in Indian market. MG has decided to come up with a brand new Sub-4 meter SUV in the market. They will be developing a new platform for sub-4 meter vehicles that can be utilised for many other future products. The newly developed platform can be used for multiple body styles. Currently MG’s plan is to develop a platform for the sub-4 meter SUV, then the same platform will also be utilised in an MPV and later in a hatchback.
Currently, MG India’s main focus is to increase or expand the production capacity at Halol plant from 80,000 units to 1,00,000 units per annum. The main reason behind this expansion is the upcoming mid size SUV from MG ‘Astor’. The Astor is an upcoming mid size SUV that will sit below MG Hector and will compete with the likes of Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and Skoda Kushaq in the segment.
Commenting about MG’s future strategy, Rajeev Chaba, President and Managing Director at MG Motor India Pvt. Ltd. said, “In the next one-two years, if we can do 1,00,000 vehicles in the Halol plant profitably, then that will be a great achievement. On that foundation, we need to get into the second plant, through collaboration or on our own, and then get into the sub-4m segment.”
MG India has not announced any details regarding the engine, transmission and launch of the upcoming sub-4 meter SUV. It is expected that MG will be launching it some time in 2023. Coming back to Astor mid size SUV, it is basically the ICE version of the ZS EV that is already in sale in our market. It is expected to get a 1.5 litre naturally aspirated petrol and a 1.3 litre turbo petrol engine. MG is unlikely to offer a diesel engine with the upcoming Astor SUV. It will be offered with decent amount of features and MG is expected to launch the Astor SUV in the market later this year.