At a time when a boisterous campaign to shun products from China is raging across the country, MG Motor - the British brand that is backed by China's largest automaker SAIC, on Monday launched its third product in India - a six-seater version of its Hector SUV.
The Hector Plus has been priced between Rs 13.49-18.21 lakh in petrol and Rs 14.44-18.54 lakh in diesel powertrains and competes with the likes of Innova Crysta, Mahindra XUV5OO and Maruti Suzuki XL6.
MG is the only bonafide Chinese company to be present in India, the world's fourth-largest passenger vehicle market. It made a big splash last year with the launch of the 5 seater-SUV Hector and is hoping to ride on its success with the 6 seater version that comes with captain seats in the middle row.
"We entered the Indian automobile market in 2019 with the HECTOR. Our vision has been to touch the lives of car owners in India by offering them the world's best technology including connected mobility," says Rajeev Chaba, President and Managing Director, MG Motor India.
"The launch of MG HECTOR PLUS is a new milestone in our journey that is committed to serving customers with the top-notch products and services. The 6-seater internet SUV is a blend of luxury and comfort aided by technology to provide the perfect family moments to all our customers."
The Hector Plus is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine that offers a peak power output of 143 PS and torque of 250 NM. It is mated with a 6-speed manual transmission as well as a dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The 2-litre turbocharged diesel engine has a peak power output of 170 PS and torque of 350 NM. It is offered with only manual transmission.
To differentiate it from the regular Hector, the company has redesigned the front and rear bumpers of the car as well as the LED head and tail lamp designs. Other additional features in the car include new dual-tone smoked sepia brown interiors and a chit-chat feature on i-SMART Next Gen interface.
The company did not respond to questions on any backlash or cancellation of bookings it may have faced in the last few months. Some MG customers have taken to social media to post their booking cancellation in support of the campaign to boycott Chinese products being run by organisations like Swadeshi Jagran Manch and trader bodies like Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).
A host of other Chinese automakers including Great Wall Motors are queuing up to enter India but their plans have received a setback after the government of Maharashtra has put a temporary hold on its manufacturing facility in Talegaon. India also tweaked its FDI policy in mid-April to compulsorily screen all proposals from China. Relations have further strained after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in action on the Galwan border in Ladakh on June 15.