Chinese automaker SAIC will officially enter the Indian car market in 2019 with a full-fledged set-up that consists of production, sales and service operations. SAIC is likely to start operations from the General Motors’ Halol factory in Gujarat. The automaker is currently in talks with GM to buy out this factory.
While SAIC has a flurry of brands under its umbrella in China, it’s said to have finalized the British marque MG, to kickstart its Indian innings. MG is an old British car brand that was acquired by SAIC a few years ago. The Chinese automaker now sells a range of cars under the MG brand.
In India though, the MG brand is likely to drive in with SUVs as the market here prefers this kind of cars. Rajeev Chaba, who was previously heading GM China, has been appointed as the CEO of SAIC’s Indian operations. P. Balendran, another GM hand, has been appointed as an executive director.
The first SAIC car with the MG badge is expected to roll into the Indian market sometime in 2019. Expect SAIC to showcase many MG cars at the Indian Auto Expo that’ll take place early next year. By then, there is likely to be more clarity on the cars that’ll be launched by SAIC in India.
India is not a new market to SAIC. The brand had tied up with GM for a brief period in the 2000s, to build and market Chinese cars such as the Sail twins and the Enjoy MPV. The three cars didn’t do well in the market. SAIC will hope to put up a better show in its second-coming into India.