MG Motor has received a response 2X of its expectation with its first electric SUV for India, MG ZS EV, and is now looking to increase the amount of localisation to protect the price from factors including import duty hikes. Another direct impact of the localization could be felt on the price of the car.
The MG ZS EV was launched in January 2020 priced at Rs 20.88 lakh for the Excite variant and Rs 23.58 lakh ex-showroom for the Exclusive variant. The direct competition, Hyundai Kona is priced from Rs 23.71 lakh, thus giving the ZS EV the price advantage. In an interaction with IndianAutosBlog, Rajeev Chaba, President and MD of MG Motor India has confirmed that the company is working to bring the localisation up to 30 to 40 per cent by 2021.
MG is bringing the ZS EV as completely knocked down units from China, where it is made exclusively SAIC’s Zhengzhou plant in Henan. MG is assembling the electric SUV at its Halol plant in Gujarat. When the company increases the localisation of the e-SUV, the price should be coming down further making the ZS EV attractive to more customers. MG has also said that it would be building a battery assembly facility in the country next year.
For now, MG Motor India is looking to fulfil the orders it has received for the ZS EV. It clocked over 2,400 bookings from five cities (Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad and Mumbai) and is expected to complete 500 deliveries in the first quarter of 2020. The brand is also looking to complete the deliveries of entire bookings by the end of 2020, according to Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motor India who talked to EVW at the Auto Expo 2020.
But now with the onslaught of the COVID-19, it is unclear how much the effect will be on the ZS EV deliveries. Companies like Tata Motors have already stated that there will be delay in ramping up the production of its electric SUV, Tata Nexon EV, whose components like the battery are imported from China.