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MG confirms Hector Plus MPV, rival to Innova, to launch in second week of July

  • MG Hector Plus will enter a segment where the likes of Toyota Innova Crysta, Mahindra Marazzo and Maruti Suzuki XL6 play across different price categories.

  • MG Hector Plus will be launched in India in July 2020.

  • Production of the model has begun at the Halol plant.

  • MG Hector Plus will be costlier by about ₹ 1 lakh than MG Hector, which is currently priced in the range of ₹ 12.74 lakh to ₹ 17.73 lakh.

Earlier this week, MG Motor India began production of the Hector Plus ahead of its launch that is scheduled to take place next month. The model, which, as the name suggests, is based on the Hector and was showcased in India for the first time at the Auto Expo 2020.

MG had revealed that the Hector Plus will be offered with captain seats in the second row as well as a third row. Now, we can confirm that the Hector Plus will be offered in six-seat and seven-seat configurations. While the six-seat version, as mentioned earlier, will have a captain seat setup in the second row, the seven-seat version will feature a bench seat setup.

To differentiate itself from the regular Hector, the MG Hector Plus will receive a new fascia with a new front bumper, new grille and new LED DRLs. Also on offer will be revised LED tail lights, new rear bumper and reworked skid plates. The model will also be reportedly available in a new colour known as Starry Sky Blue.

Powertrain options on the MG Hector Plus are expected to include a 1.5-litre petrol engine and a 2.0-litre diesel engine. A six-speed manual transmission is likely to be available as standard with both the variants. The petrol mill could also be offered with a DCT unit and a 48V mild-hybrid system.

MG Motor India is gearing up to enter multi-purpose vehicle segment with Hector Plus slated to be launched next month, and plans to hire about 200 associates for its Halol plant to ramp up overall production to pre-Covid level, a top company official has said.

"This week, we should start producing Hector Plus. We would be launching the product in the second week of July," MG Motor India President & Managing Director Rajeev Chaba told PTI. "It is in the MPV category. What we are trying to do is Hector competes in the SUV category and Hector Plus in the MPV category for larger family use," Chaba added.

"It has basically six seats, with two 'captain seats' in the middle row. In our market study we found that there are some customers who want captain seats in the middle and also a third row of seats, which is for two people where children of the family can also seat. This is what we will be launching," he added.

Price wise, he said the new model will be costlier than Hector by about ₹1 lakh. Hector, currently, comes at a price range of₹12.74 lakh to₹17.73 lakh across variants.

Commenting on the company's production plans after resuming operations following lockdown relaxation, Chaba said, "We were doing around 3,000 units pre-Covid approximately. This month we should be doing almost 2,500 units, which is 75-80 per cent of our recovery".

He further said, "Our target would be in the next two or three months we should come back 100 per cent of our pre-Covid level by helping MSME suppliers and also by hiring some more associate workers in the (Halol) plant". When asked how many people the company is looking to hire, he said, "In terms of associates we may hire 200 associates in the next two to three weeks".

Chaba said that currently, the company has a total of 13,000 customer bookings pending, with about 25% cancellations but it is getting 50 new bookings per day. "This is good to go for the next few few months, besides Hector Plus hopefully going into a new segment of MPV should give us some incremental volume," he added.

With supply chain constraints hampering ramping up of factory output, the company is also "hand-holding" some of its tier II and tier III components suppliers, even providing financial support in order to meet customer demand. "We are trying to handhold them, even with some financing support. If they are able to do it, then we may hire more associates in MG Motor India so that we can work on Sunday extra hours to go up to 3,000 units a month," Chaba added.