As demand for MPVs (multi purpose vehicle) or family cars seem to be picking up, MG Motor has developed a new 7-8 seater car, a rival of Maruti Suzuki Ertiga which it will showcase at the upcoming Auto Expo in February, two people aware of the development said.
The MPV is most likely to be the next launch from the MG stable by the end of this year, one of the persons said, adding the company will be investing about `1,000 crore in developing it and is to be priced between `12 lakh to `20 lakh.
The decision follows the latest announcement of an MPV launch — Carnival — by rival Kia Motors and a strong double digit growth in the segment sales in an otherwise subdued passenger vehicle demand. To be sure, even as the overall passenger vehicle sales declined over 15% in 2019, demand for MPVs rose over 30% to 2.10 lakh units, contributing 8% to the passenger vehicle market. The cars in the segment are priced between `6 lakh and `25 lakh and is solely dominated by Ertiga, which accounts for almost 50% share.
While Renault Triber makes up for a substantial portion at the entry level, Toyota Innova rules the higher end of the segment, which has competiton like Maruti’s XL6 and Mahindra Marazzo. MPVs historically had been a diesel dominated segment, but with manufacturers launching the petrol variants at a much affordable price, many consumers have opted for the same. As per the industry data, the share of petrol in the segment touched 35% in 2019 against just 5% in 2013.
The MPV by MG Motor will be the third product in India after its SUV Hector and electric vehicle ZS. Apart from the MPV, the company will showcase 13 new cars to its stall at the Auto Expo, ranging from hatchbacks to sedans to SUVs. MG Motor did not reply to emails sent till the time of going to press.
Following the success of Ertiga and Innova, average monthly sales of which hovers around 8,000 units and 5,000 units, respectively, other manufacturers like Mahindra & Mahindra and Renault were the latest entrant into the segment. Kia Motors will launch the Carnival MPV on February 5 at the Auto Expo, which will be its second product for India after the compact SUV Seltos and will sit above the Innova Crysta.