MG Motor launches India joint venture with JSW

The Indian steel group JSW and the MG Motors brand of the Chinese automotive group SAIC have founded their planned joint venture in India. JSW MG Motor India's ambitious goal is to sell one million electric cars in India by 2030 and capture a third of the market.

Image: MG Motor

At a media event in Mumbai, the joint venture presented the MG Cyberster EV, the well-known electric roadster from MG. JSW MG Motor India also wants to initially focus on premium cars. It is not known whether the targeted unit numbers and market shares are possible.

JSW CEO Sajjan Jindal stated that the joint venture plans to launch its first plug-in hybrid car on the market by 2025, produce batteries and build a charging infrastructure throughout India. However, JSW will only hold 35 per cent of the joint venture, but the majority of the shares are in India: as financial institutions, car dealers and employees will also hold shares in the joint venture, the total stake held by Indian parties is 51 per cent.

This Indian majority was important for political reasons, as the government in New Delhi is trying to limit China’s influence on the Indian economy through such investments. According to MG, both companies will invest a total of 50 billion rupees, or just over 600 million US dollars, in the joint venture. One measure: the production capacity of the MG plant in the state of Gujarat is to be expanded from 100,000 to 300,000 vehicles per year. However, there is no timetable for this yet. MG already builds two electric models in India, the Comet EV small car and the ZS EV, which is also well-known in Europe.

Expectations are high: JSW CEO Jindal says he hopes that JSW MG Motor India will revolutionise the electric car market in a similar way to Maruti Suzuki in the combustion engine sector. The joint venture between the Indian Maruti Group and the Japanese car manufacturer Suzuki has been one of the market leaders on the Indian car market for 40 years.

Electric cars only have a market share of two per cent in India so far. The government’s goal is to increase this share to 30 per cent by 2030. To this end, import taxes on electric cars from some manufacturers (including Tesla) were recently reduced, which, according to analysts, could have an impact on those companies that tend to produce expensive vehicles in India.

JSW invested heavily in electromobility since 2017 and was also pushing ahead with plans for its own electric car. In 2019, however, the company decided not to enter the electric vehicle business for the time being. Nevertheless, JSW remained active in this area and is probably planning to build a battery factory for electric cars, among other things. In addition to MG, there could soon be another electric car joint venture with JSW involvement: As announced in February, the steel group is also negotiating with Volkswagen.


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