MG confirms Hector Plus MPV, rival to Innova, to launch in second week of July
MG Motor India is gearing up to enter multi-purpose vehicle segment with Hector Plus slated to be launched next month, and plans to hire about 200 associates for its Halol plant to ramp up overall production to pre-Covid level, a top company official said on Monday.
With supply chain constraints hampering ramping up of factory output, the company is also "hand-holding" some of its tier II and tier III components suppliers, even providing financial support in order to meet customer demand.
"This week, we should start producing Hector Plus. We would be launching the product in the second week of July," MG Motor India President & Managing Director Rajeev Chaba told PTI.
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Sharing the company's strategy on the new model, he said it will be an extension of its existing SUV Hector.
"It is in the MPV category. What we are trying to do is Hector competes in the SUV category and Hector Plus in the MPV category for larger family use," Chaba added.
Hector Plus will enter the multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) segment where the likes of Toyota Innova Crysta, Mahindra Marazzo and Maruti Suzuki XL6 play across different price categories.
"It has basically six seats, with two 'captain seats' in the middle row. In our market study we found that there are some customers who want captain seats in the middle and also a third row of seats, which is for two people where children of the family can also seat. This is what we will be launching," he added.
Price wise, he said the new model will be costlier than Hector by about ₹1 lakh.
Hector, currently, comes at a price range of ₹12.74 lakh to ₹17.73 lakh across variants.
Commenting on the company's production plans after resuming operations following lockdown relaxation, Chaba said, "We were doing around 3,000 units pre-Covid approximately. This month we should be doing almost 2,500 units, which is 75-80 per cent of our recovery".
He further said, "Our target would be in the next two or three months we should come back 100 per cent of our pre-Covid level by helping MSME suppliers and also by hiring some more associate workers in the (Halol) plant".
When asked how many people the company is looking to hire, he said, "In terms of associates we may hire 200 associates in the next two to three weeks".
Chaba said that currently, the company has a total of 13,000 customer bookings pending, with about 25 per cent cancellations but it is getting 50 new bookings per day.
"This is good to go for the next few few months, besides Hector Plus hopefully going into a new segment of MPV should give us some incremental volume," he added.
He, however, said supply chain constraints, specially components from local suppliers have hampered increasing production.
"Supply chain constraints are all the parts coming locally. From outside such as Europe or China, there is no problem. It is all local issues as some suppliers are facing labour shortage issues and some who were doing three shifts are unable to do the third shift due to night curfew," Chaba said.
He further said MG Motor is working with all suppliers and support tier II and Tier III MSME suppliers to help them raise their capacity.
"We are trying to handhold them, even with some financing support. If they are able to do it, then we may hire more associates in MG Motor India so that we can work on Sunday extra hours to go up to 3,000 units a month," Chaba added.