We Shouldn’t Be Looking At Budget As Some Magical Moment: Rajeev Chaba, MG Motor
The government has made the intention very clear that they want to keep improving and keep giving the momentum to the right policies from time to time. So, we don't have to wait for the budget for some spectacular announcements, says Rajeev Chaba, President and Managing Director of MG Motor India
Our Editorial Lead, Utkarsh Agarwal spoke to Rajeev Chaba, President and MD of MG Motor India at the Auto Expo 2023, read the excerpt below:-
Q. What's the mission of the Next-Gen MG Hector launched here at the Auto Expo 2023?
MG Hector is a flagship product of our brand and this was the first product with the internet inside, the first connected car in the country. So, it is very important for us. Now we have refreshed it as a new-generation SUV and launched it today, so, we still would have to wait for the response but we are quite confident. The kind of features we have added, the technology, we have taken it to the next level with ADAS Level 2 and connected car features, I think customers are going to find it more compelling. So, we are expecting a good response for next-gen Hector and this will remain a very important product in our portfolio.
Q. Will MG discontinue the previous generation Hector in the market?
We have tweaked the whole variant lineup, it’s a mix-and-match. If I can say, it has some variants with some of the old connected features and some variants are completely new, so, it's a mix and match of Hector’s portfolio within Hector. So, it would be wrong to say that the old one is not there. But the old one, in its current form, definitely is not there but there are some elements in some variants.
Q. MG has unveiled the electric mobility portfolio for the coming year. So, what's the plan and when will we see these on the Indian roads?
We have showcased our portfolio on New Energy Vehicles. We have showcased 9 cars, 5 EVs and 4 PHEVs (plug-in hybrids), that means from a technology perspective, we are ready, just depends on consumer demand and the government's direction. And the good thing is that all these cars are production ready, so they can be launched depending on the demand, that was the idea. But in the meantime, we are focusing on more and more EVs because we are enhancing the ecosystem, we are partnering with the right people, and we are trying to Indianise and localise more to reduce the cost so that more and more people can afford it.
Q. What is your perspective on electric mobility? How do you see the future of electric mobility?
I think we were one the first ones to spot that opportunity and that's why we launched the ZS EV that time, when there was almost nobody. And now I’m happy to say that there are many, many models getting announced. We're also launching our second car in the next few months, so, we feel there's a global direction. Our government's intention is very clear, and we want to be part of that vision and this electrification will only increase as we go forward.
Q. Do you think the Indian Government is doing enough to support the EV OEMs to grow to its full potential?
There is a lot of support and supportive policies in that direction, right from GST to FAME policy to PLI. So, I think the government has shown the indications.
Q. The Government will be presenting the budget in the coming few days. So, what are your expectations from the budget?
I think what I learned from the Government’s statement is that we should not be looking at the budget as some magical moment. The government has made the intention very clear that they want to keep improving and keep giving the momentum to the right policies, and they keep doing it from time to time. So, we don't have to wait for the budget for some spectacular announcements. So frankly I would say that the government has the dubious task of managing growth and inflation and that's not an easy task, but more and more momentum should be given to the growth, seeing the capability and potential of our economy.
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