MG Motor India inaugurates car manufacturing plant at Halol in Gujarat, will roll out first car in 2019, initially hires 70

New Delhi/Ahmedabad:

UK-based automotive marquee MG Motor today announced the inauguration of its first-ever manufacturing facility in India, through a minimum initial investment of Rs 2,000 crore. With an initial capacity of 80,000 units per annum in the first phase, MG Motor India will roll-out its first product from the plant in 2019.

The greenfield facility was inaugurated with a traditional Indian ‘Puja’ ceremony during the auspicious occasion of Navratras, in the presence of all MG Motor India employees, MG Motor International employees and key representatives of the local administration including Gujarat government.

The state-of-the-art facility, spread over an area of 170 acres, will be completely revamped by MG Motor by 2019. The company has already hired an initial workforce of 70 employees at the plant. The facility will entail creation of significant number of jobs, apart from several additional indirect jobs in the state, as part of the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ initiatives.

“Today is a water-shed moment for the MG brand in India with the inauguration of our first-ever manufacturing facility here. Overall, we aim to positively contribute to the ecosystem here in Gujarat including all stakeholders by generating employment opportunities for local talent, leveraging the capable supplier base and contributing to the overall benefit of the society and community here,” said Rajeev Chaba, President and Managing Director, MG Motor India.

“The Morris Garages brand already has a huge resonance in India with at least 500 owners in India since 1924, when the brand was first established in the UK. These owners and many passionate fans have expressed their curiosity, keenly anticipating the brand’s return to India. The first product will roll out from here in 2019, blending MG’s true DNA with modern British design language,” Chaba added.

“We greatly appreciate the pro-active approach displayed by the Gujarat government in facilitating the smooth transfer approval of the Halol plant and granting us the required approvals to re-start the operations. With this, we are very proud to play our role to the ‘Make in India’ initiative, contributing to the overall positive and sustainable development of the society here. With the takeover and other transfer formalities having completed, we will start refurbishing the entire plant very soon, with MG’s state-of-the-art manufacturing tools, equipment and processes,” said P Balendran, Executive Director, MG Motor India.

The MG brand, which originated as an iconic British Racing Sports Brand in the year 1924, has evolved into a modern-day innovative brand through the last 93 years. MG Motor India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China’s largest automaker SAIC Motor Corp that owns the brand, aims to launch its first product in 2019 and follow it up with another a year later.While the SUV segment remains an important segment, the company is yet to finalise products for the Indian market.

The company acquired the Halol plant last week. An agreement had been inked with the Gujarat government. The company acquired the plant on an asset sale basis from General Motors India and, therefore, it is free to hire its own fresh workforce at the plant. The company, part of SAIC, will focus mainly on its MG brand in India. SAIC sells over 6.5 million vehicles annually around the world.

A major chunk of Rs 2,000 crore invstment has been used on acquisition and refurbishing of the Halol plant. As the plant is old, it would require a complete makeover. So, the investment would be much more than what was quoted earlier. In the first phase of the initial four-five years, production capacity would be around 80,000 to 85,000 units per annum. In the second phase, the company can even ramp it up by another 80,000-85,000 units if required in future.

The company is likely to hire around 1,500 over the next two-three years.

MG sells a range of products, including the hatchback MG3 and SUV MG GS in the European market.

SAIC had earlier this year signed a term sheet to evaluate buying the Halol plant of General Motors in Gujarat after the American company decided to stop production as part of consolidation of manufacturing operations in India.

On May 18, General Motors decided to stop selling its vehicles in India as there was no turnaround in its fortunes here after struggling for over two decades to make a mark.

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