The JSW Group is engaged in discussions with Chinese car manufacturers MG Motor India and BYD India for its proposed electric vehicle (EV) foray.
A JSW Group spokesperson declined to comment. But sources indicated that talks were on for a minority stake in MG Motor India. But MG wasn't the only player that JSW was engaged in discussions to power its plans, BYD India was also in the play.
While MG Motor started selling cars in the country 2019 onwards, BYD launched its first passenger car in India last year.
Asked about the potential stake sale, the MG Motor India spokesperson told Business Standard, “Following company policy, we do not provide comments on speculation.” The BYD India spokesperson did not immediately respond to the newspaper’s request for a comment.
Sources said MG Motor India is likely to sell about a 20 per cent stake to raise up to Rs 3,000 crore this year for its expansion plans. Currently, MG Motor India has a single plant in Halol, Gujarat, which is expected to increase its capacity to 120,000-130,000 units by 2024.
MG Motor India, owned by the Chinese company SAIC Motor, is expecting to sell 80,000-100,000 units this year, and as a result, its expanded capacity will be fully utilised by 2024. Consequently, it is crucial to secure funds promptly to begin constructing a second plant, the sources said.
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Sources said the company may sell about a 20 per cent stake to a strategic investor or opt for the IPO route. It is in discussions with multiple investors in India and will take a decision soon, they added.
Domestic sales of MG Motor India jumped by 21 per cent in 2022-23 to 48,886 units, according to Siam data. On the other hand, BYD India, which started deliveries of its first passenger car, Atto 3, in January this year, has sold 1,014 units to date, according to Vahan registration data.
Ketsu Zhang, executive director, BYD India, had in October said the company intended to sell 15,000 units of Atto 3 in the country in 2023 and plans “to set up a local manufacturing facility in due course”. BYD India imports completely knocked down (CKD) units of Atto 3 — an electric sport utility vehicle (SUV), and assembles it at its Sriperumbudur facility in Tamil Nadu.
MG Motor India President Rajeev Chaba had told reporters last week that the company was not able to handle the semiconductor chip shortage as deftly as some of its peers in 2022, but the situation has significantly improved this year.
MG Motor India unveiled its compact EV Comet, which has a range of 230 km per charge, last Wednesday. The company will start taking bookings for the Comet from May 15 onwards, Chaba noted.
The share of electric vehicles (EVs) in MG Motor India's total domestic sales could rise to about 30 per cent in 2023-24, according to Chaba. Currently, the company is selling three internal combustion engine-based SUVs in India: Astor, Hector, and Gloster. It is also selling one electric SUV called ZS EV. Comet will be its fifth vehicle to be launched in the Indian market.