MG Motor India expects EVs to make up 25% of sales in 2023

GREATER NOIDA, India (Reuters) – MG Motor India, owned by China’s SAIC Motor, expects electric vehicles (EV) to account for at least a quarter of its sales in India in 2023, the automaker said during the country’s biennial auto show on Wednesday.

“At the end of this year, 25 to 30% of our sales will be all electric,” Managing Director Rajeev Chaba said, adding that it is evaluating the launch of the MG4 electric hatchback and eHS plug-in hybrid SUV in India, which were unveiled at the event.

MG Motor has just over a 1% share of India’s passenger vehicles market, where it sells the ZS EV SUV.

SAIC Motor has previously said that it has a wide portfolio of new energy vehicles (NEVs), which include electric, hybrid and fuel cell cars, which MG can choose from to sell in India.

MG Motor plans to raise funds to develop its Indian electric mobility business, Reuters reported in March, amid increased scrutiny of Chinese investments by New Delhi.

MG entered India in 2019 with plans to invest about $650 million but New Delhi has sought to limit investments from Beijing after a 2020 clash between soldiers from the two countries on their disputed Himalayan border.

Investment proposals worth millions of dollars from China, including from SAIC, are awaiting Indian government approval.

India’s tighter scrutiny led China’s Great Wall Motor to shelve plans to invest $1 billion and lay off all employees in the country, after New Delhi denied regulatory approval for purchase of a factory.

In November the Indian government sent a notice to MG Motor asking why the company made losses in 2019-2020, its first year of operations in the country.

MG Motor India has a manufacturing facility in Halol, Gujarat, with an annual production capacity of 125,000 vehicles.

(This story has been refiled to change the dateline to Greater Noida from New Delhi)

(Reporting by Aditi Shah and Praveen Paramasivam)