SAIC is preparing to commence operations in India with the launch of an SUV to rival the Hyundai Creta, reports Autocar India. The SAIC-owned Chinese firm will spend around INR 2,000 Crore in the first phase. It will roll out cars from the Halol plant following its acquisition from General Motors India. The factory made the Chevrolet Cruze and the Tavera models until April this year.
Speaking to Autocar India, President and managing director, MG Motor India, Rajeev Chaba, shed light on the company’s plans for the Indian market. In the first phase, SAIC will pump in INR 2,000 crore to refurbish the Halol plant and increase annual production capacity from 60,000 to 80,000 cars. The company believes it can meet the demands of the Indian market with an annual capacity of 80,000 units for the next five years.
While Chaba refused to divulge information regarding the models for the Indian market, the report claims it will be a compact SUV that will compete with the Creta. The SUV could be followed by a small MPV and a hatch. Chaba could reveal that the first launch will ensue in 2019 followed by another in 2020.
The SUV in question could be the MG ZS on sale in the Chinese market. It is based on a shortened version of the MG GS’ platform. The ZS was recently spotted testing in Thailand, which like India, also drives on the left side of the road. The SUV will also go on sale in the UK towards the end of 2017 as the MG ‘XS’.
The hatchback expected in 2020 could be the next generation MG3, which received a facelift in China just last month.