High taxes, price-conscious consumers and tricky logistical issues have made it tough for many foreign automakers to thrive in one of Asia’s biggest economies. They have found it difficult to loosen the grip of local players like Maruti Suzuki India, a household name since the 1980s thanks to its iconic Maruti 800 that became the first affordable car for the masses.
But with the advent of EVs, firms like MG Motor India, the local unit of China’s SAIC Motor, Renault, Nissan and Volkswagen Group may finally gain a better foothold.
While MG controls just a fraction of the local passenger vehicle market, last month it announced ambitious plans to grab a share of the country’s budding EV space, expecting to derive as much as three-quarters of its sales in India from electric cars by 2028 via the launch of four to five new models, most of them full-electric.
MG Motor is also building a second factory to make EVs, with an investment of 50 billion rupees ($607 million), that would increase its combined production output in India to as many as 300,000 cars a year, and constructing a battery assembly unit in the western state of Gujarat. On top of that, it plans to dilute its 100 percent shareholding of its local unit with the aim of having it majority owned by an Indian company in two to four years.