When it goes on sale next month, the Astor will be the next product in MG India’s portfolio. Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Skoda Kushaq, and Volkswagen Taigun will all be tough competitors for the mid-size SUV.
AI and ADAS will be the unique offerings
Astor is equipped with ADAS level 2 functions, which include a series of active safety feats, such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Advancing Warning, Automatic Emergency Brake, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Alert, Smart Headlamp Control, Rear Drive Assist and Speed Assist. Astor also has a range of advanced driver support systems.
In India, no direct competitor of the Astor from Korean or European automakers currently offers such safety equipment, which appears to be borrowed from a segment or two above. Some of these systems are included in the full-size, three-row MG Gloster, for example. The recently announced XUV700 also has ADAS, but the Mahindra is positioned half a segment higher than the Astor and is a more direct competitor to the Hector.
Though providing the most up-to-date technology has never been more important, MG will need to excel in terms of driving dynamics and performance, especially with strong competitors in the category. The Astor appears to be up to the task on paper, with a 120hp 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine and a 163hp 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine – specifications that are standard in this segment.
ADAS is being introduced despite India’s unstable traffic conditions
The lack of ADAS in the mass market is generally attributed to less-than-ideal road and traffic conditions, as well as cost constraints. The effectiveness of these systems can be harmed by a lack of road user discipline and the absence of road markings, for example.
This will undoubtedly contribute to raising the safety standards expected of mainstream vehicles in our market. Advanced safety technology appears to be the next battleground for Indian automakers, and MG India wants to be on top of the game.
MG plans to sell 3,000 Astor units per month
The Astor is expected to boost MG’s volumes in India significantly. “At the moment, we’re doing around 4,000 cars per month.” “Our plan and challenge is to go up to 7,000 cars a month at Halol,” Chaba continued, “with Astor accounting for the additional volume.” “So our mid-term goal is to make sure our plant is fully sustainable and profitable,” he explained.
The company then plans to expand the factory’s capacity to 1,00,000 annual units by the following year. Chaba also revealed that the Astor will be released with a 50 percent level of localization.
MG Motor India also claimed to have created an ecosystem of various in-car services, including MapMyIndia maps and navigation, Jio connectivity, and KoineArth’s blockchain-protected vehicle digital passport.
Its vehicle owners will also have access to music via the JioSaavn app, as well as the ability to reserve a parking spot via a Park+ enabled head unit in select cities, according to the company.