MG Motor India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China’s largest automaker SAIC Motor Corp that owns the MG brand, has embarked upon a quest to collaborate with technology start-ups in the country as many innovative Indian entrepreneurs are taking up this route, mainly in the mobility space.
MG Motor India has recently inaugurated its car manufacturing facility in India at the closed down facility of General Motors at Halol in Gujarat. SAIC Motor Corp, General Motors’ Chinese joint venture partner, had earlier firmed up plans for starting its India manufacturing plant at GM India’s Halol unit, where operations were shut down in April 2017. SAIC’s Indian subsidiary MG Motor India signed in July 2017 a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Gujarat government and GM India for the transfer of land leased out to the latter for the facility.
The Chinese auto major has committed to make investments worth about Rs 2,000 crore for the new plant and its machinery at Halol. At least five global vendors of the company are likely to set up their manufacturing base at the same site, with the possibility of an investment of another Rs 1,000 crore and generation of over 1000 jobs. Initially the new facility will have the capacity to produce 80,000 car a year from 2019.
“India is home to a number of entrepreneurs and innovative minds, who choose to go the start-up route, including the mobility space. As part of MG’s commitment to build a culture of constant innovation, we are open to exploring various opportunities for collaborating with any technology start-up that brings additional synergies to our business,” Rajeev Chaba, President and Managing Director, MG Motor India, said.
For this, MG Motor India has joined hands with TiE Delhi, a non-profit association that mentors start-up founders, to launch the ‘MG Drives Innovation’ programme. Under this programme, select start-ups will be invited to engage in any of the three models:
Developer programme: For companies at concept or MVP (minimal viable product) stage.
Accelerator Programme: For companies whose products/solutions or any aspect(s) of business need refinement, and who can benefit from deep-engaged mentoring by domain experts.
Partner programme: For companies whose products are ready for market, we will help integrate their solutions into MG Motor India’s business or assist in taking to market in the most appropriate manner.
To ensure that the program delivers value to the company as well as participating start-ups, MG Motor India has identified specific problem areas and potential opportunities, so that the solutions identified are easier to be launched in the market for the end-customers.
About the British automotive marque “MG” (Morris Garages) brand Chaba said, that “it already has a huge resonance in India with at least 500 owners in India since 1924, when the brand was first established in the UK. These owners and many passionate fans have expressed their curiosity, keenly anticipating the brand’s return to India.” The MG brand had changed hands several times before its assets and the brand were purchased by Nanjing Automobile Group of China in 2005. Nanjing merged into SAIC in 2008.