MG Motor History
MG Motor, or Morris Garages, is a British marque known for its sports cars and mini cars. It was founded in 1924 by Cecil Kimber. Over the years, with its glorious history, the ownership of the company has changed hands across diversified business conglomerates to finally being owned by Chinese state-run SAIC Motor. For the uninitiated, SAIC is the seventh largest automotive design and manufacturing company in the world.
The Indian Journey
Nearly two years ago, in September 2017, MG Motor India inaugurated its manufacturing facility in Halol, Gujarat and announced its plans for India. These included introducing a premium mid-size SUV in the heart of the market, followed by an all-electric SUV. The program also included the opening of 120 MG touch-points across the country by June 2019 and increase it to over 250 showrooms by September.
MG Motor headquarters tour in China
But before the company introduced its first product in India, MG Motor India took us on an exclusive tour of its headquarters in Shanghai, China. The trip included a visit to its Lingang factory, the R&D centre in Anting, and finally testing out a few electric cars at the proving grounds in Guangde.
We were offered insights into the R&D facilities including design building, architecture lab, thermal wind tunnel lab, NVH, powertrain lab and much more. It also included a tour of the lithium-ion battery assembly and testing facilities and a brief glimpse of the MG E-Motion concept.
MG announces the first SUV for India
With MG Motor India’s first manufacturing plant in place, the company started testing the prototypes of its first SUV for India in early 2018. And with much speculation surrounding its name, the company finally announced that its first product in India would be called the MG Hector. In the run-up to its official unveiling, MG Motor India tied up with a prominent ride-hailing partner, and also set-up its corporate headquarter in Gurugram, Haryana.
MG Drive.in – Technology that drives the Hector
MG Motor India wanted to commence its Indian journey with a bang. And to showcase the technology that drives the MG Hector, the company invited us for the MG Drive.in event. The MG Hector is India’s first internet car that gets over 50 internet connectivity features, which enables the user to control the various functions of the Hector, like opening/closing the sunroof and windows, start/shut-off the engine, control the climate control system and much more. The Drive.in event focused on, among other things, the iSmart connected technologies of the Hector.
For the iSmart connected car features, MG Motor has partnered with various tech giants like Microsoft, SAP, AccuWeather, Cisco and Adobe. The internet services are enabled with an eSIM from Unlimit, a Reliance Jio company, while navigation is taken care of by TomTom.
MG Hector debuts in India
After much anticipation, MG Motor India unveiled the Hector on 15 May. It was at this event that the company took the wraps off Hector’s specifications and the first-in-segment features of the SUV. The MG Hector comes with 11 segment-first features, and at the heart of it is the 10.4-inch HD touchscreen infotainment system, which also controls the various internet connectivity features of the SUV. Some of the other first-in-class features are iSmart internet connectivity, 48V mild hybrid system, 360-degree camera, ambient lighting, LED lighting with dynamic indicators and much more.
Interested already? Well, you can now book the MG Hector at the nearest MG flagship experience showroom for an amount of Rs 50,000.
While you might be skeptical about its performance, we have already reviewed the MG Hector. And we must say, we are mighty impressed by its premium looks, well-finished cabin and the tons of comfort and convenience features of the SUV. The SUV drives well too, and if you are looking for a premium comfortable SUV, look no further than the MG Hector. The Hector is a spacious, feature-rich and premium offering, and we feel, MG has a promising product at hands.
MG Flagship Experience Centre
A special mention should go to the MG Flagship Experience Centre (showroom). MG Motor India already has 120 such showrooms across the country and is in the process of having over 250 dealerships by September 2019. Besides displaying the Hector, the primary purpose of these showrooms is to redefine the car buying experience in India completely.
Each MG Experience Centre follows the brand's 'Emotional Dynamism' design philosophy, which incorporates the brand elements and slick colour palettes. Each showroom has various British cultural icons like the Union Jack, Big Ben, telephone booths and street lamps installed at strategic locations, to associate with the British heritage of MG.
Also likely to grab your attention there will be the 1965 MG Midget on display that reminds us of MG's legacy and its glorious past. An LED video wall, comprising of 36 connected TVs, displays the brand’s history. There’s also a live configurator of accessories to personally configure your Hector. And if that was not all, each showroom will also have an MG Café for refreshments.
There’s no doubt that the MG Hector is a well-finished premium SUV in a sea of mass-market offerings. It brings along with it, the MG heritage and the British glory that we have come to learn about. And it is pioneering with technology and internet connectivity features that are unheard of in its segment. The Hector then is not an underdog, but a champion in its game. And MG Motor India, with its brand heritage, is redefining the overall car buying experience for its customers.