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Old 1st March 2017, 02:01   #1
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Default MG Motors India formed by SAIC, China’s largest automobile company

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SAIC Motor could soon become the first Chinese company to sell its cars in India as it has started hiring key executives.
MG Motor India, the local unit of China’s largest automobile company, will sell vehicles with an MG tag, a British brand that SAIC acquired.

Rajeev Chhaba, a former India head of General Motors, will be new the CEO and at least seven more people have been hired to lead the finance, human resources, purchase, IT and other functions.

SAIC has the Competition Commission of India’s approval to acquire General Motors’ factory at Halol in Gujarat.

But the final deal is conditional upon GM — SAIC’s partner in China — settling labour issues at the plant. If that happens by the middle of next month,the Chinese company is ready to take over the plant as early as in April and roll out its first vehicle from the plant late next year or early 2019
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Old 1st March 2017, 06:34   #2
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Default re: MG Motors India formed by SAIC, China’s largest automobile company

A very logical step indeed!

In fact, I was expecting exactly this and hoping for the same, as soon as I learned that GM's Chinese partner was buying the Halol plant from them:

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I have no idea which subsidiary of SAIC is set to buy the plant from GM, but if the Chinese automaker is planning to enter the Indian passenger vehicle market, then I do hope they bring in the British MG brand (which they own).

It would great sense for SAIC to enter India with a once-famous name like MG (Morris Garages). The ol' MG brand would be far better received in India than any unknown Chinese brandname.
MG models currently on sale in the UK:

The MG 3

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The MG GS

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Last edited by RSR : 1st March 2017 at 06:51.
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Old 1st March 2017, 07:06   #3
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Default re: MG Motors India formed by SAIC, China’s largest automobile company

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A very logical step indeed!
They seem to have destroyed the Chevrolet brand in India, so probably moving on!

GM was doing OK with Chevrolet branded Deawoo cars like Cruze and Beat before SAIC came along, and brought in cars from their Chinese partnership with GM. Cars like Sail, Sail UVA, Enjoy etc which not only has bombed, but destroyed the brand image as well.

Didn't stop there as well. They are also acquiring the GM plant and also poached their top executives.

Kind of a parasitic trend, dont you think? Join forces, inject own traits, bleed the host, destroy and acquire the host and move on!

PS: MG sounds apt considering they have reversed GM's fortunes in India. .

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Old 1st March 2017, 07:26   #4
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Default re: MG Motors India formed by SAIC, China’s largest automobile company

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They seem to have destroyed the Chevrolet brand in India, so probably moving on!
I think it's the other way round - Chevy destroyed itself by selling itself to SAIC. Prior to that, they were selling badge-engineered Koreans and now, Chinese...only exception being the Beat.

Last edited by GTO : 1st March 2017 at 10:46. Reason: Poorly typed post
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Old 1st March 2017, 07:34   #5
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On a lighter note, what they have done literally is turned GM to MG.

Exactly the way MD turns to DM after studying higher.

I think its a more logical step then trying to resurrect the brand which is a herculean task considering Fiat or Ford.

They should have realised by now the very mysterious behaviour of our market where Nano, U-VA, Sail, Etios, etc. cars flop even if they are priced VFM as VFM doesn't mean cheapness written all over the product.

IMO they should also back it up with HUGE marketing campaign as it will be a new launch of unknown brand. If they are looking to be a volume segment player they have to make a loud noise from the beginning.

Good Luck to them.
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Old 1st March 2017, 10:44   #6
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Default Re: MG Motors India formed by SAIC, China’s largest automobile company

Quite an interesting development to start the day with, and I look forward to seeing how things pan out for them. A big challenge without doubt, but SAIC didn't become China's no.1 just like that. Among Chinese car makers, SAIC probably has the best shot of cracking India. Each year, it builds more cars than the entire Indian auto industry combined. Yep, they're huge.

I definitely wouldn't write off all Chinese cars as 'cheap'. Given the money & commitment, they have the capability to build good cars. Remember, Hyundai once suffered the same awful reputation in the 80s & 90s. Today, Hyundai is a quality-leader in nearly all of the segments it competes in. No one then would have imagined a 'Korean' company to achieve this.

A comeback for Rajeev Chaba too; he was fired during the Tavera's emissions scandal.

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Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
They seem to have destroyed the Chevrolet brand in India, so probably moving on!
If it weren't for SAIC's investments, GM India probably wouldn't exist today. They would have exited the country after the 2008 global bankruptcy.
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Old 1st March 2017, 13:50   #7
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Default Re: MG Motors India formed by SAIC, China’s largest automobile company

There would be lot of scepticism for a Chinese manufacturer. They are huge in China agreed but unknown here. If they want to succeed here they will have to do these 3 things.

1. Leave their Ego in China about size of their company. Its not going to work here.
2. Price Cars well and have decent build quality.
3. Give good warranties and offer Very good service support like what Hyundai did.

Competition is brutal these days. If you make mistake in todays time, the market does not give you a second chance.
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Old 1st March 2017, 15:00   #8
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Default Re: MG Motors India formed by SAIC, China’s largest automobile company

Beiqi Foton was supposed to be the first Chinese automobile company to start its truck plant in India. It has not started construction of its Maharashtra plant despite fist lot of land being allocated in 2011. It had cited economic slowdown for this period as the reason for the delay. In 2015 Beiqi Foton announced shifting focus to passenger cars but that plant is yet to be set up.

They had wanted a contiguous plot of land of 250 acres whereas the initial agreement was for 250 acres of land within one tehsil. In addition, BF was keen for a plot with a hill in the background and a river/water stream in the front (some feng shui thing)!

So the proof of the pudding is in eating

I am all for the Chinese companies coming in. They are world class and its good for us as consumers.
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Old 1st March 2017, 15:51   #9
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Default Re: MG Motors India formed by SAIC, China’s largest automobile company

The front of the car shown looks like Renault Koleos and the rear is like Creta. These companies will never do well in India due to the trust factor nor will they in future get encouragement from the governments. So chances are less. In our country people either pay for a badge (Honda) or value (MSI) or Features and reliability (Hyundai). The chinese brands do not fit in anywhere. That is why cars like Datsun in lower end and Skoda on higher end do not sell much.
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Old 1st March 2017, 17:34   #10
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Default Re: MG Motors India formed by SAIC, China’s largest automobile company

If anyone has several billion dollars to invest upfront in a huge dealership network (maybe even afford to open company owned showrooms in each city), train thousands of service personnel, design and engineer cars for the market specifically and launch an all new brand (not like most of us remember MG anyway), it is the Chinese. They need to make the right decisions and hire good people to make this happen. But as the saying goes, with enough money (spent wisely) you can make the improbable probable.

But I only see MG Motors India succeeding if they go all out and super aggressive into the market - they may take losses for a decade in an effort to undercut the competition in terms of pricing to offer features a segment or two higher and spend extra money to keep the after sales support network customer friendly and likable but in the long term everything will be worth it. They need to take inspiration from the likes of Uber, Amazon and Xiaomi.

An approach that says "Here's some loose change, make something interesting happen without trying very hard" isn't going to work in India - they only need to look at GM for a very good example.
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Old 1st March 2017, 17:41   #11
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Default Re: MG Motors India formed by SAIC, China’s largest automobile company

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cars like Datsun in lower end and Skoda on higher end do not sell much.
I beg to differ. The only reason why cars from Skoda are not selling is because of the dismal service support and shady dealerships. An honest management and company behind a product that has got teething issues will still do well eventually. As an example see Mahindra. Their earlier cars were not niggle free but they have stood behind their product and market notices.

Honest products from honest dealers at honest prices will sell. Image is also something that has to be created and earned. Hyundai Motors had none when they entered India and see where they are now.
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Old 1st March 2017, 20:36   #12
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Default Re: MG Motors India formed by SAIC, China’s largest automobile company

Apart from people's apprehensions on the quality levels of Chinese car's what I think will majorly affect their sales, is their foreign relationship with India.

Already we are in troubled waters with some of their actions which I'm sure every Indian notices. Now when we have a rival such as that I'm not sure how many Indian's will be willing to invest their money in them.

To be honest it's a very bold or stupid move by the Chinese.
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Old 1st March 2017, 20:44   #13
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Default Re: MG Motors India formed by SAIC, China’s largest automobile company

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their foreign relationship with India.
Our relations with China are not that bad right now and the government has been encouraging them to invest in India under Make in India program. Chinese companies have been given permission to start SEZs in three states in India in 3 sectors. In Maharashtra, its supposed to be focussed on automobiles, in Gujarat on industrial equipment production and in Andhra on computers and telecom hardware.

Besides we are also discussing with them to establish railway university in India and to help start a skill development centre in Gujarat. Chinese companies have money, we need investments for job creation. It could also help more Indian people and Chinese people familiarise themselves with each other.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 00:26   #14
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Default Re: MG Motors India formed by SAIC, China’s largest automobile company

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These companies will never do well in India due to the trust factor nor will they in future get encouragement from the governments. So chances are less. In our country people either pay for a badge (Honda) or value (MSI) or Features and reliability (Hyundai). The chinese brands do not fit in anywhere. That is why cars like Datsun in lower end and Skoda on higher end do not sell much.
I feel that it is a wee bit early to jump into conclusions like that.
How can anyone say it won't sell even before a product has been showcased or launched?
Just because it is Chinese, you say that it won't have quality and won't sell here?

Ours is a very unpredictable market.
We can't be 100% sure of any such generalizations.

For instance,just see how Chinese mobile manufacturers like Xiaomi, Oneplus, Lenovo etc are selling their smartphones like hot cakes today.

But a few years back, no one preferred Chinese branded sets.

Who would have thought a few years ago, that a time would come when market leaders like Samsung would face the heat of competition from Chinese brands, and would have to struggle it out to survive and retain its marketshare?
But that is exactly what is happening today!

So we can't predict anything like that.
Only time will tell.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 11:57   #15
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Default Re: MG Motors India formed by SAIC, China’s largest automobile company

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Originally Posted by VinodDevil81 View Post
I feel that it is a wee bit early to jump into conclusions like that.
....
Only time will tell.
+1

People have now understood that both 10 rupee torch and iphone are made in China.
What you pay for is what you get.
Thing is that Chinese companies do not have any 'minimum level' for QC, and can churn out substandard products at throwaway prices if their customers demand so, but can also manufacture quality items with good levels of QC if the price is right.
Chinese phone handsets are not 'premium' in India, they are 'VFM', and most certainly not 'cheap'.
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