The recently launched MG Hector SUV has managed to find 1,508 homes in its first month of launch – July. MG Motor’s first vehicle for the Indian amrket, the Hector is a rebadged Chinese SUV called the Baojun 530. However, for the Indian market, the SUV sells under a British car brand called Morris Garages that was acquired by Chinese automaker SAIC sometime ago. The response to the Hector has been more than enthusiastic in the Indian car market, which is otherwise suffering from a steep sales slowdown. MG Motor has received 28,000 bookings for the SUV, prompting it to stop taking further bookings. The automaker plans to first deliver more SUVs to buyers and keep waiting periods manageable, before reopening bookings. From September 2019, MG Motor will also increase production of the Hector from its Halol factory in Gujarat to 3,000 units/month.
The SUV has been engineered to suit Indian conditions and features a 2 liter Multijet turbocharged diesel engine from Fiat. This is the same engine used by the likes of the Jeep Compass and Tata Harrier, and on the MG Hector manages 170 Bhp-350 Nm. The engine gets a 6 speed manual gearbox as standard. The Hector is also available with a 1.5 liter-4 cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with 140 Bhp-250 Nm outputs. The petrol engine is offered with a 6 speed twin clutch automatic gearbox option while a 6 speed manual gearbox is standard. The petrol engine is also available with a mild hybrid 48V powertrain, which boosts fuel efficiency. However, the mild hybrid version of the Hector is not available with the automatic gearbox. All variants of the Hector are front wheel driven and the automaker has no plans to offer an all wheel drive layout equipped variant in the Indian market.
Big street presence, spacious interiors, a feature-rich cabin with a Tesla-style large touchscreen infotainment system, electric sunroof, connected car features and a sharp price tag have together made the MG Hector quite popular among buyers. The automaker is working on a BS6 compliant version of the SUV, which will be launched in early 2020. MG Motor is also working on a 7 seat, 3 row version of the SUV, which will also be launched early next year. By the end of 2019, MG Motor will also launched a new electric car called the eZS. The eZS is a compact SUV that will challenge the recently launched Hyundai Kona in India. The MG eZS electric SUV is expected to be competitively priced. More details about its specifications and features will be available closer to launch. MG plans to focus mainly in the SUV segment in the Indian market.
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