MG Motor India Thursday launched its SUV Hector at an introductory price ranging between Rs 12.18-16.88 lakh with deliveries to start by first week of next month.
The Hector is the company's first model in India and will be followed by an electric SUV 'EZS' later this year.
Next year, the company will launch two new models in India. Hector comes with 1.4 litre turbocharged petrol and 2 litre diesel engine options. It also has 48volt hybrid option in the petrol variant.
Commenting on the launch, MG Motor India President and Managing Director Rajeev Chaba said the company has already received bookings of over 10,000 units since it opened on June 4.
"We have had a good response to the Hector going by the bookings with customers not even knowing the price," he added.
When asked about expectations from Hector considering it has been launched at a time when the automobile market in India is going through a slump, Chaba said,"our current production capacity is for 2,000 units a month initially. So even if there are some booking cancellations, we would be doing around that number to start with."
MG Motor India has already invested Rs 2,200 crore in setting up its business in the country, including the manufacturing plant at Halol in Gujarat and dealerships, among others.
Overall the company is looking at Rs 5,000 crore investment in a four-year period.
It has a production capacity of 80,000 units per annum and has the provision to increase the capacity going forward depending on the requirement.
He further said as MG's first product for the Indian market, the Hector comes with ‘MG Shield', a package which provides complete assurance to customers regarding maintenance and ownership.
The Hector will take on the likes of Mahindra's XUV 500, Tata Harrier, Jeep Compass, Hyundai's Creta, among others in Rs 12-25 lakh SUV segment.
It has over 300 India-specific features to suit customer preferences and road conditions along with internet enabled 50 connected features, according to the company.
The company said pre-booked orders have been slated from the first week of July through its network of 120 centres across India, which the carmaker aims to expand further to 250 centres by September this year.
Commenting on market conditions, Chaba said it is expected to pick up, specially in October-December period when there would be "lot of deals" as manufacturers seek to liquidate BS-IV inventory ahead of transition to BS-VI in April next year.
On electric vehicles, he said the company has decided to bring in its EZS SUV even if the infrastructure is not ready. "We cannot wait for development of infrastructure. We have the product ready, which also helps us in our image of innovation," Chaba said.
The EV will be launched initially in five cities namely Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. MG Motor India will provide home charging kits to customers besides its dealers in those cities having charging stations, he said.
Chaba, however, said that for EVs to pick up in India, the government needs to come up with a proper long-term policy and support structure, unlike the periodic extensions witnessed with FAME I scheme.