India's Jindal Southwest (JSW) is trying to acquire a stake in Mingjue Motor India Co., Ltd. (MG Motor India), the Hindustan Times reported. It is reported that JSW will hold 45-48 per cent of SAIC MG India, while dealers and Indian employees will hold 5-8 per cent, which means SAIC will lose control of MG India and its stake will be less than 50 per cent. MG India will also become a company controlled by Indians.
It is worth mentioning that for the purchase price, SAIC initially offered to value MG India's assets at US $80-10 billion, but after negotiations, MG India's asset valuation was reduced to US $12-1.5 billion, and the acquisition has been strongly supported by the Indian government.
SAIC did not respond to the news, but MG India had previously said that SAIC had given up part of its stake in MG India in principle and allowed Indian entities to take control of it. In addition, SAIC plans to carry out a series of actions through MG India, such as a plan to invest more than 50 billion rupees ($611.4 million) to build a second plant in India, as well as a series of other proposals, including considering the local manufacture of pure electric car power batteries in India and expanding the size of the electric car market in India. The initial plan is that it will account for at least 65% of its electric car sales from 2026.
MG is a century-old British car brand, the initials of Morris Garages, founded by British auto celebrity William Richard Morris in 1910. In July 2005, Nanjing Automobile Group Co., Ltd. acquired MG Rover Motor Co., Ltd. and its engine production division, and changed its name to Nanjing Mingjue Automobile Co., Ltd. In April 2007, Shanghai Automobile Group Co., Ltd. acquired Nanjing Automobile Group and became the new owner of the MG brand.
In early 2017, SAIC set up MG India with a total investment of 3.275 billion yuan, including the acquisition of the Halol plant of General Motors Co., Ltd., located in Baroda, Gujarat, India, and a complete transformation of it as a basis for the establishment of a modern standard automobile manufacturing base and supporting industrial park. In April 2019, the Harrol base was completed and officially put into production, with an annual production capacity of 80,000 vehicles, and SAIC became the first Chinese car company to build a factory in India.
Since the second half of 2019, MG has launched at least four products in the Indian market. It should be noted that the models launched by MG in the Indian market are basically replaced by Baojun. For example, the MG Hector released in July 2019 is actually a replacement product of Baojun 530, which has been discontinued in the Chinese market as early as 2021.
The MG Lord does not have a large share of the Indian market. The new car market in India sold 334499 vehicles in May, up 13.8 per cent from a year earlier, surpassing the best performance of 300583 in May 2018 and the best May sales in India's history. In addition, new car sales in India were 1681946 as of May, up 11.7 per cent from a year earlier. In the past 2022, India overtook Japan to become the world's third-largest car market, up 25.7% year-on-year to 4.7255 million vehicles.
In terms of specific brands, Suzuki still ranks first, with a year-on-year increase of 15.5% to 143700 vehicles, accounting for 43% of the Indian market share, firmly controlling the trend of India's new car market. In second place was Hyundai, which grew 14.9 per cent year-on-year to 48600 vehicles, with a market share of 14.5 per cent. MG is the only Chinese brand on the list, with a year-on-year increase of 24.9 per cent to 5006, surpassing overseas carmakers such as Honda, Renault, Volkswagen, Nissan and Skoda, and its best ranking since entering the Indian market.
MG doesn't have a large share of the Indian market, so why do you want to go after MG? At present, Suzuki, Hyundai, Toyota and other automobile companies have factories in India, but more and more automobile companies choose to sell factories. For example, Ford, General Motors and others have closed or sold their production bases in India one after another. At present, Japanese and Korean brands are doing better in India. These companies invest more in India and the market scale is larger, while MG does not have much presence in the Indian market, with a market share of only 2%. Coupled with rising trade tensions between China and the United States, it is expected that MG, as a Chinese company, will be subject to sanctions.
With regard to India's actions such as the investigation of Chinese enterprises, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said earlier that the Chinese government has always required Chinese companies to operate legally and complied with regulations overseas, while firmly supporting Chinese enterprises in safeguarding their legitimate rights and interests. The spokesman stressed that the Indian side should act in accordance with the law to provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese enterprises to invest and operate in India.
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