There is no escaping the fact that the MG Hector is a very handsome SUV. Loaded with technology and features, the Hector’s production has already begun at their Halol plant in Gujarat; with 75 per cent localisation, it looks like a winner already. The MG Hector was unveiled on Wednesday.
The MG Hector will have two engines: a 1.5 litre petrol belting out 143 hp and a 2.0 litre diesel belting out 170 hp. The petrol engine will also be offered with the choice of a 48V mild hybrid option, and will come with a six-speed manual as well as a six-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox, whereas the diesel one will only come with a six-speed manual.
We caught up with Gaurav Gupta, chief commercial officer of MG Motor India. Excerpts from an interview:
What can you tell us about the design?
MG is an emotive brand and design has been at the core of all MG products. The MG Hector is all about 'emotional dynamism'. It is a fusion of modern dance form with aviation power. So, it’s a very good blend of both. For a big SUV, air intakes are a sign of power and that has been influenced by the F35 planes. The contours are more in a modern dance form. The elements of a ballerina are there as well. Those curves and accents have inspired the interior design. Then, there is the 10.4 inch HD screen. Overall, it becomes a very imposing package.
- Hyundai revs up competition in compact SUV segment with ‘Venue’
- Dealers start MG Hector bookings, company yet to make official announcement
- Indian auto industry sales continue to fall in April 2019
- Cheaper fuel cells breakthrough could be game-changer for auto industry
- MG Hector: All you need to know about Morris Garage’s smart SUV
What would you say is the USP of the MG Hector?
It would be unfair to say that there is only one USP. While safety and technology are our two pillars, comfort and convenience is also our USP. The Hector is really big on safety. The car really takes the safety standard to a higher level for this entire segment. We bring in, across all our variants, safety features such as 3.0 seatbelts, traction control, ESP, Hill control and so, all that becomes paramount. Along with that, we’re offering a 360 degree camera, heated ORVMS and even front sensors. Also, the quality of our steel, the tensile strength is much higher, providing structural safety.
In the area of hybrid technology, we’re bringing in the 48V mild hybrid to India, for the first time democratising it. Along with that, we’re offering consumers a great mix of fuel efficiency and emission reduction. This is our own SAIC-owned technology and we’re using that and taking the liberty of bringing it to India. Also, it is an internet car, which offers connected mobility solution to the consumers. The third USP is comfort and convenience. Once you sit either in the driver’s seat or in the co-passenger or rear seat, you will see meaningful touches. There is roominess when it comes to the second row, there’s a flat floor, and there’s also the ride and the handling. All of this really bring the MG Hector to life.
Who is the target customer for the MG Hector?
We are looking at the modern, progressive Indian consumers who are either looking for a second vehicle in the family, or a first in terms of upgrading themselves to a higher brand. Perhaps he is an early adopter who likes technology, somebody who wants to try out some new elements. Mid-career professionals, well-settled small and medium enterprise owners, and families with young children, as it is safe and roomy. The internet connectivity also lets parents feel very safe when the car is being used by children (18 and above), or by the driver to drop the children off because you can geo-fence it. Smart driving behavior can also be improved, so you have a lot going on there. A progressive consumer would be very happy to be behind the wheel of the MG Hector.
How prepared are you in terms of troubleshooting when it comes to encountering tech failure on your new offering?
With technology, you always have to be ready. The important part is equipping and training staff to serve and support. That’s where our distribution reach of 250 touchpoints across the country comes in very handy. This is not just at the key locations where we’re selling, but also where our consumers are travelling to, such as tourist destinations, highways and such places. We have a lot of inter-connected systems with our backend. We already have our website, our data management system, our pulse hub and our SAP Connect. The systems are so interlinked that we have traceability right from the manufacturing line to the showroom to the workshop. We are on our final leg of testing and we just have to move on with this.