MG Motor India has received an overwhelming response to their first electric car in India, the MG ZS EV that has received 2,409 bookings from the five cities where it opened sales (2,800 in total from all cities of India). EVW talked to Mr Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motor India at the Auto Expo 2020 and here are some excerpts.
MG has received 2,409 bookings for ZS EV, which is more than the number of electric cars sold in India in 2019. Were you expecting this kind of numbers for ZS EV?
Gupta: To be honest, we were expecting around 1,000 at best. Because we know consumers would be having concerns and there’s the adaptability of the technology. This was our thought process. We were thinking what was the single most part in owning the EVs and the answer was the assurance of charging infrastructure. And this is why we developed our own 5-step charging process.
We also thought we should develop an entire ecosystem and that ecosystem is not just what goes into the product but also in terms of what happens in the afterlife of the battery. Though this will be needed after 8 to 10 years, we are already in talks with companies like Exicom Tele-Systems and Umicore from India and Europe for recycling the batteries.
With our 5-step approach, we feel customers will be able to see it’s not just about selling the car but building an ecosystem for EVs and that was the reflection of our commitment to EVs. I think this is what is responsible for the great response and we are overwhelmed and thankful.
How much time would you take to honour these bookings, as you will have to ask for additional allotment from your China plant?
Gupta: The good part is the electric vehicle battery is our own, developed through our collaboration with CATL, which is the world’s largest EV battery manufacturer. We are already working on that and would be scaling up our production in the second half of the year to fulfil the demand.
We are already looking to deliver 500 cars in the first quarter of the calendar year and progressively take it further. We hope that we will be able to support this entire demand by the end of 2020.
Are you looking to expand the bookings to more cities in 2021?
Gupta: We are taking one step at a time and expanding would a part of our direction, once we establish in the current cities. We want to make sure of these five cities first and the customers are well taken care of and satisfied.