At a time when the entire Indian auto industry is struggling with volumes, new entrants are on a roll. Kia Motors India which had received over 32,000 bookings for the Seltos before its launch has sold 6200 units in the first week itself, claiming the seventh spot in the Indian market. MG Motor too had bagged over 28,000 bookings for the Hector and had to stop accepting bookings as the company is struggling with production capacity. However, the carmaker is planning to resume bookings in October during the festive season as customer's who visit dealerships are unhappy on being denied to take bookings.
Speaking to carandbike, Rajeev Chaba, President & MD- MG Motor India said, "We cannot and don't want to reopen the bookings till the time we have a clear idea of deliveries. So first we want to take care of our existing customers who have already booked and then we want to resume bookings. So my guess is within October we should reopen the bookings." MG Motor India has also come up with a temporary solution to not let go its prospective customers and has started adding them to the wait list without taking bookings, "There are lot of walk-in that's been happening and is still happening as we speak and we have started adding them to our wait list without taking money. So whenever we would start, this wait list can be converted to bookings. So I am happy to say good problem to have that we have got 16,000 customers in our wait list now," Chaba added.
That said, ramping up production is first on MG Motor's priority list in a bid to not disappoint customers who walk-in to book the Hector, "So on a single shift basis we can do 3000 units and we are evaluating the possibility of a second shift which we can start from November. We are just looking at suppliers' capacity, in fact I've been meeting suppliers as well. Then we're also looking at some imports of the part and hiring of one more batch for the second shift," Chaba said. Though the stirring demand for the Hector keeps MG in a strong position even during the worst downturn in the Indian auto industry, it is struggling to ramp up production owing to the slowdown as its suppliers are disrupted. "Because of other factors and other players and other players, the suppliers get impacted and if they are impacted, it impacts us indirectly. So I hope and I am confident that things will start improving for the industry. Probably we have seen the worst in August and from here onwards we start going up. So if the industry improves, it's good for suppliers and good for us as well," Chaba added
The real challenge that MG is facing at the moment is how to keep the customers who walk-in happy. It is concerned about dealer's not entertaining them well as they cannot accept bookings and customer being sad about not being able to book the car. MG Motor has sold over 2000 units of the Hector in India till date and is targeting to deliver 3000 units in September.