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‘WE ARE LOOKING AT 2022 WITH CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM’

BY Anjana Naskar

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MG Motor India recently unveiled its first musical campaign ‘Taal’ to empower and promote indie musicians. With MG Taal, the company aims to bring more exciting experiences to its customers including creating the sonic logo, curating brand aligned music at its showrooms, developing different versions of its brand anthems, and providing indie music videos embedded in the touch screen panel in the cars. Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motor India talks about the idea behind the launch of MG Taal, its marketing strategies, adoption of connected cars, roadmap for 2022 and much more.

Q] What was the prime objective behind the launch of MG Taal?
Music is a platform which connects us right from the beginning of life to the end of our journey. MG as a brand has been associated with music, right from its inception in India, so we came up with a music brand anthem. The first time we showcased Hector, we had the anthem performers come up on stage in Mumbai. Thereafter, we’ve actually built on music overall. One is through the brand anthem. Second, we have music videos pre-fed in MG Hector, so that consumers can enjoy the overall experience. Third, we also have customized music in our showroom, from morning to evening and it is based on the human moods during different times of the day, and also relates to what the brand is about.
We also experimented by taking our sound of India approach where we allowed artists to play with our anthem and give us various manifestations and combinations. We saw music, particularly Indie music as an emerging platform and then developed this with our partner. Through MG Taal we formalized our efforts on music as a connect for our customers.

Q] How has 2021 been for MG Motors? What kind of growth have you seen last year amid the uncertainties of the pandemic?
Resilience has been a core factor of the year 2021. It has had its own problems i.e., from a health perspective or unprecedented challenges in supply chain, be it chips supply or logistics challenge. But despite that, MG as a team has been able to bring in new products to the market, establish and reinforce the MG auto tech brand stance with AI inside MG Astor. Further, we were able to continue and expand on our community work via MG Sewa, wherein we’ve been able to provide Hector ambulances on a regular basis now. We have also supported Paralympians during the Tokyo Paralympic Games. Even today, we are able to generate a lot of bookings for our electric vehicles, we’ve been able to work on battery recycling and expand our charging network so the EV ecosystem work for engines is expanding and we’ve successfully been able to maintain the momentum on the cars also. Of course, we wish we could have more supplies. But overall, it has been a good year.

Q] How well was MG Astor received in the market?
Along with an amazing design appeal, MG Astor has created a new dimension of technology in the segment with autonomous level tools, which is not there in the segment at all, as well as a personal AI system. So, it has really been very encouraging for every stakeholder, including those who are working on giving more in-car applications like Jio and MapMyIndia who we have partnerships with. The response has been commendable because we were able to get our target of 5000 units in this calendar year. We were able to achieve that within 20 minutes for the MG Astor. And overall, the demand continues as we speak.

ABOUT THE BRAND
Founded in the UK in 1924, Morris Garages vehicles were known for their sports cars, roadsters, and cabriolet series. Over the last 96 years, MG has evolved into a modern, futuristic, and innovative brand. MG Motor has introduced several ‘firsts’ in India including India’s first internet SUV – MG Hector, India’s first pure electric internet SUV – MG ZS EV, and India’s first autonomous (Level 1) premium SUV – MG Gloster.

PROFILE
As the Chief Commercial Officer at MG Motor India, Gaurav Gupta has played an instrumental role in engineering the go-to-market strategy for the brand’s flagship Indian offering – the Hector. An industry veteran with over 25 years of experience in the automotive industry, Gupta has previously worked with brands like Bridgestone Indonesia, General Motors and Deloitte.

Q] How long will it take for the adoption of connected vehicles and for it to become a norm in India?
Connected vehicles are becoming the norm in India. We are happy to be the first to bring internet inside an SUV in India. We are seeing a seamless movement between home, office and car, along with more elements of safety, utility and entertainment being part of the car. For MG, from the safety perspective, we have an Information call option which helps in notifying about the accident and getting first aid immediately, along with airbags. People can play their favourite songs through JioSaavn and Gaana.com. In addition, there is another utility, wherein one can reserve parking and pay for it too. So, connected cars becoming a norm is already a journey which has started.

Q] What are the brand’s goals for 2022 and the key focus for the year?
2022 will be a year of caution because of unpredictable factors like COVID, global shortage of semiconductor chips, supply chain & logistics concerns like freight cost etc. At the same time, we also expect the demand to continue as we believe that the customer demand and sentiments will remain positive and build up as we have been seeing in the last two years. We will also be looking at how to address a wider segment of customers for EVs. We are very optimistic and are encouraged by the clarity on the electric vehicle roadmap of the government for the country. So, we will continue to work in that area to be aligned completely.

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