Our retail sales increased by 28% over the previous year: Rajeev Chaba, MG Motor
MG Motor is going through a magnificent ride in India. Overwhelming reservations for its recently launched Astor SUV prove MG Motor’s acceptance here in the country. The global semiconductor shortage has also hit the automaker, but it is trying to overcome the waiting period. MG also wants to improve its portfolio and infrastructure of electric vehicles. Rajeev Chaba, President and CEO of MG Motor India explained the company’s roadmap with us.
How did the holiday season start for MG Motor? How much growth do you expect this season compared to last season?
We entered the holiday season on a positive note with the launch of the MG Astor SUV. The mid-size SUV with AI inside and Autonomous Level 2 technology was very well received in the market. We are grateful for the response from our customers. Therefore, we expect a further increase in growth compared to last season. This year, through September, we saw a steady increase in our retail sales despite production challenges.
All our SUVs have a higher number of requests. MG ZS EV had registered more than 600 reservations in September. Our retail sales increased 28% last month compared to the same period last year. The numbers indicate growing demand in the market, and we are trying to keep up with it. It is difficult to meet demand amid a global shortage of semiconductor chips, which has significantly hampered car production and deliveries.
What was the response to your newly launched Astor? Can you give data on the current reservation numbers?
We have started Astor’s Priority Reservations for 2022. Last week our 2021 bundle was booked and sold out within 20 minutes of opening reservations. The number is clearly indicative of the kind of correct answer we have for the Astor. We will start delivery of the first batch of Astor from November 1st.
What’s the current update on the semiconductor shortage crisis? Are you able to fill the orders or is there a long waiting period?
The semiconductor shortage is a global crisis and we are greatly affected by it. In September, our production fell by almost a third due to the shortage of chips. Currently, availability has declined further due to the persistent challenge of chip shortages with a 50% reduction in October. We will face this challenge for a few more months. As there is a high demand sustained by the festival season, we are doing our best to reduce the waiting period. Our customers have been informed in advance of the delay in delivery.
After the news of Ford’s exodus, what kind of leap did you see in Gloster’s claim?
We have seen higher demand for all of our SUVs in recent months. It also means higher demand for Gloster. Our commitment to providing our customers with the best services and cars in their class remains unfathomable.
How does MG Motor plan to expand its range of electric vehicles and what has been the response of this segment in India?
At MG, we are committed to bringing both futuristic and sustainable mobility solutions to the Indian automotive industry. As part of our CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric) vision, we launched India’s first electric SUV, the MG ZS EV, which continues to experience increasing demand in the market. With the launch of the electric SUV, we also launched our #ChangeWhatYouCan campaign. He encourages people to go for electric vehicles, which offer both performance and style.
Currently, our electric SUV offers a range of 419 kms. Considering that the Indian market is still in its infancy of electric vehicle adoption, we have led the 5-way infrastructure development approach. It includes DC fast charging stations, home / office chargers and on-the-go charging facility as part of our roadside assistance, as well as on-board AC charging cable and charging stations in satellite towns.
We will join with other like-minded stakeholders to continue improving the infrastructure of the electric vehicle environment. We will further expand the charging infrastructure to ease range anxiety among people. Our core value not only includes innovation, but also creating an environment to nurture new ideas. In line with this idea, we donated a ZS EV to IIT Delhi to continue research and development on EV-Tech. We want to see more developments in the electric vehicle sector.
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