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SAIC to commence operations in India with Morris Garages brand in 2019

The Shanghai-based firm, which has joint ventures with General Motors and Volkswagen in China, has been exporting locally made Buick Envision sport utility vehicles to North America since May of past year.Mumbai: SAIC Motor Corp., China’s largest automaker, plans to enter the Indian automobile market and commence operations in 2019 through a fully-owned auto manufacturing facility in the country, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.The company is just finalising its product strategy for India, and will announce the details of it at a later date. The Indian automobile market is poised to become the third-largest vehicle market worldwide in 2020.Great Wall Motor and Guangzhou Automobile Group are working on selling their models in developed markets such as the USA, while Zhejiang Geely Holding Group this month invested in Malaysia’s Proton Holdings as part of its expansion into Southeast Asia. Ranked 46th in the Fortune Global 500 list, SAIC Motor’s vision for India is to deliver environment-friendly mobility solutions under the iconic “MG” (Morris Garages) brand.The $100 billion Chinese company, with core businesses spanning design, manufacturing and supply of components besides partnerships with global giants such as Volkswagen and General Motors, is expected to commence operations in India in 2019.SAIC is said to be in talks with General Motors India regarding the purchase of the latter’s Halol plant in Gujarat.”The introduction of the iconic British Sports Car Brand “MG” in India is an important part of SAIC Motor’s global strategy”.SAIC is the second Asian automaker to announce its plans for a market where SUVs are gaining ground over passenger cars. These cars would be designed and engineered at its European and other global design centers, and adapted to Indian conditions.What models will SAIC bring to India under the MGbadge remains a mystery.The company said it is delighted to have both Mr. Rajeev Chaba and Mr. Balendran join MG Motor India as its senior leadership team. Meanwhile, P. Balendran – another GM India veteran, has been appointed as the Executive Director of the firm.”As a new-age auto company focused on innovation and technology, the company offers various solutions and technological capabilities required in the development of “new energy vehicles”, to cater to the changing needs of global customers and the overall ecosystem”, the statement added.