Chinese auto manufacturer SAIC Motor, one of the first to step into the vehicle industry in the Indian market, is accelerating its investment there to keep ahead of its Chinese competitors.
SAIC Motor plans to invest more than 50 billion rupees (7 million) by 2025 in India through MG Motor India, which officially entered the country in February 2017 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chinese automaker, Indian newspaper the Economic Times reported on Tuesday.
Morris Garages (MG) was an iconic British car brand that was acquired by the Chinese auto giant in 2007.
As a representative among emerging markets, India has large scope for growth in the auto industry and is likely to become the third-largest auto market in the world by 2020, SAIC Motor said on Tuesday in a note it sent to the Global Times.
The company also confirmed that the manufacturing base in India will begin production in 2019. With SAIC Motor's technology, new-energy vehicles will also be included in a series of new cars it plans to launch, according to the note.
"What we are quite confident of is the fact that the product we are going to launch will be quite compelling. It is going to have some class leading features and offer good value - not only in the initial stage of ownership, but also subsequently in the cost of ownership post-sales, including the resale price," Indian news site BusinessLine reported on Monday, citing Rajeev Chaba, the president of MG Motor India.
The first product MG Motor India will launch is a sport utility vehicle and within five to six years, "we will have four or five good products and clear-cut target positioning to consumers," the president noted.
According to the report from BusinessLine, MG Motor India is planning to hire 1,000 employees as of 2018 and will further double the number to 2,000, by the end of the first phase of expansion.
SAIC's competitors are relatively quiet at the moment, although they have also shown an interest in India before.
In April 2016, Reuters reported that Great Wall Motor, one of China's top car makers, were conducting talks with the state government of Maharashtra in western India to establish car factories.