SHANGHAI – China’s biggest automaker SAIC Motor announced on June 29 its plans to enter the India market and begin operations there by 2019, with a wholly-owned manufacturing facility.
SAIC has not yet finalized the plant location as it could either be a greenfield facility or a much-talked about General Motors closed facility in Halol (Gujarat). GM has recently announced its exit from the India market owing to poor sales.
Besides SAIC Motor, Kia Motors and PSA Group are other global automakers that have recently decided to take a plunge in India with official announcements.
“The company is in the process of finalizing its manufacturing facility and is firming up its product strategy for the Indian market, details of which will be announced at a later stage,” the company’s newly formed Indian subsidiary MG Motor India said.
MG Motor India also roped in industry veteran Rajeev Chaba as president and managing director and P Balendran as executive director.
SAIC will launch products under the iconic Morris Garages (MG) brand. The brand finds it roots in British racing way back in 1924 but now has emerged as a modern brand in over nine decades with environmentally friendly mobility solutions.
The Chinese automaker is eyeing the Indian auto market which is slated to be the third largest globally by 2020, leaving Japan behind and only after China and the U.S. India’s passenger vehicle sales crossed the 3 million-unit milestone for the first time in 2016-17, with the segment witnessing a growth of 9.23 percent.
For the fiscal year ended March 2017, domestic passenger vehicle sales were at 3,046,727 units against 2,789,208 units in the previous year, according to data released by top auto body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
Indian automotive sector is expected to achieve a turnover of $300 billion at a CAGR of 15 percent annually by 2026.
SAIC had turnover of ¥746 billion and sold 6.49 million vehicles in 2016, up 9.95 percent from the previous year.