China's SAIC Motor and steelmaker JSW Group on Wednesday outlined a roadmap for JSW MG Motor India, the second-largest electric car maker in the country.

The new venture gives wings to steel magnate Sajjan Jindal's childhood dream of making cars in India.

With MG Motor India, Jindal says he is looking to script history with another 'Maruti moment'. "When Maruti came to India 40 years ago it changed the industry. It brought in efficient, lightweight cars and the Ambassadors and Fiats went into oblivion," says the JSW Group chairman. Maruti Suzuki is India's leading carmaker with over 40% market share.

"We are going to churn the industry a lot. We will create some sort of disruption in the industry. The idea is to bring one new car every three to four months from September onwards," explains Jindal.

The joint venture plans to launch two new electric cars during the festive season later this year.

MG Motor India sold 9,513 electric cars in 2023, cornering 12% market share in EVs. India's largest electric carmaker Tata Motors leads with 75% market share.

JSW aims to build an ecosystem for new energy vehicles (NEVs)—electric cars and plug-in hybrids. Jindal is betting on plug-in hybrids to deal with range anxiety in EVs amid inadequate charging infrastructure in the country. "There is always this question mark that we don't have enough charging systems in the country. There is always the anxiety about the range. There is a new technology like plug-in hybrid. On a daily basis, when you are running your car within the city, that much the car will run on battery. In case you want to go out of town, then you drive on battery for 100 km, then the engine kicks in," Jindal says, adding that car buyers across the world are going for PHEVs as an interim solution till the time charging system in fully developed.

The steel-to-energy conglomerate plans to leverage synergies offered by other JSW Group companies. "For NEVs, we can produce our own energy. We have enough sunlight and wind. We can produce renewable energy," he says, referring to JSW Energy.

India needs to cut down its oil import bill and the only solution is new energy vehicles, says the JSW Group chairman. "Close to $200 billion of oil is imported into India, causing a huge deficit in India's current account," he says.

MG Motor India unveiled plans to become an Indian company last year. This came after the government cracked down on Chinese companies, making it harder for them to invest in India via the foreign direct investment (FDI) route.

The joint venture, in which JSW Group owns 35% stake, aims to sell 1 million electric vehicles in India by 2030. "It has been my father's dream to build a car in India. When we found out that MG Motor India was looking for a partner we jumped on the opportunity," says Parth Jindal, member of steering committee of JSW MG Motor India. "It is our aim to have 33% of the market of the NEV segment by 2030."

JSW's partner SAIC Motor sold over 5 million cars globally in 2023. Of these, 1.2 million sales came from the overseas markets. New energy vehicles contributed 25% to its sales last year.

Out of 25 million passenger vehicles sold in China in 2023, about 32% or 8 million were new energy vehicles. In comparison, out of 4.1 million cars shipped in India last year, only 2.2% were electric. The Indian government is eyeing 30% of all new-car sales to be electric by the end of the decade.

"Over the next 10 years, we are very sure that India is going to move from a 4 million passenger vehicle market to a 10 million passenger vehicle market. We are very convinced that with all the support being provided by the government that electric vehicles are going to follow the same adoption path that was followed in China," says Parth.

If India truly wants to become 'Atmanirbhar', electric vehicles are going to be the future, he adds.

JSW MG Motor India plans to significantly increase its production capacity from 1 lakh units currently to 3 lakh vehicles annually at its plant in Halol, Gujarat.

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