Leading auto major MG Motor India has set in motion an action plan to dilute its Chinese ownership, saying it will be majority Indian owned in five years. The new initiatives announced on Wednesday afternoon include a second manufacturing facility in Gujarat totalling a fresh investment of 5,000 crore rupees.
MG or Morris Garages is a legacy British auto company that has since been owned by Shanghai’s SAIC Motor. The Indian subsidiary set up operations in India back in 2017 with a plant in Gujarat’s Halol, taking over a plant previously owned by General Motors (which had exited India). The models it has in India include bestsellers like the MG Hector and MG Aster, as well as the much-anticipated MG Comet, an electric small car whose bookings start next week.
The Indian government has not been favourable to fresh Chinese investments in the country since 2020, after the deadly Galwan clashes between soldiers of the two countries. A string of restrictions announced since then had seen several Chinese apps banned from the country, as well as limitations on foreign direct investment from China (under the guise of limits on investments from countries having a land border with India).
MG for some time has been pushing its ‘British legacy’ and ‘Make in India’ credentials in promotions, and hardly talking about its Chinese ownership. Though details were not forthcoming, MG says ownership will be diluted with Indians owning the majority in two to four years. It said the five-year business roadmap to Indianise was for “sustainable growth and meaningful impact in society.”
Additionally, the company announced its aims of becoming a major player in the clean mobility movement, announcing investments in cell manufacturing and hydrogen fuel-cell technology, besides aiming for electric vehicles to reach up to 75 per cent of the total portfolio in a few years, as well as enhance local sourcing.
Rajeev Chaba, CEO emeritus of MG Motor India said, “MG India’s unwavering dedication to India is deeply ingrained in our ethos. Our growth strategy is centred around strengthening localisation (and) aligning more closely with the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.”