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Published on: Oct. 4, 2021, 1:07 p.m.
A new member in the MG Motor family
  • The Astor: will it redefine future of mobility?

By S.M. Boothem

MG Motor India recently unveiled MG Astor, its mid-sized SUV with artificial intelligence (AI) personal assistant and first-in-segment autonomous (Level 2) technology. The carmaker’s journey started in India with its first internet SUV – MG Hector in 2019, followed by MG Hector Plus, MG ZS EV, an electric SUV, MG Gloster and the latest one to join the family is MG Astor.

There is plenty of action in the mid-sized SUV segment. The Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos are doing well in the market.  With the recent arrival of the Skoda Kushaq and the Volkswagen Taigun, car buyers have more options to choose. MG Motor is set to join the league with MG Astor, which is expected to hit the market shortly.

“We have introduced several industry-firsts with our SUVs to the Indian automotive market. This time we have Autonomous (Level 2) technology in MG Astor, with a personal AI assistant. The technology is more advanced helps safe drive”, said Rajeev Chaba, President and MD, MG Motor India at the unveiling of Astor.

“We are confident that in India, the Astor will redefine, not just the segment, but also the future of mobility.  The Astor is the first car to offer services and subscriptions under the car as a platform. The Astor’s sporty design, luxurious interior, choice of engines and transmissions and host of segment-leading features makes the MG Astor a truly remarkable SUV, I am sure that you all will enjoy MG Astor as much as we have enjoyed creating it”, added Chaba.

The company has partnered with Jio, MapmyIndia, Park+ and Koinearth for their variety of technological features offered to customers. Talking about the appeal of Astor, Carl Gotham, the Advanced Design Director at the MG’s Global Design Centre in London, UK, said, “The concept of Emotional Dynamism brings a premium feel to Astor. The mid-size SUV is a visual delight with an exceptional level of detailing and remarkable features. We have placed design at the centre of creating the car to make it look as good as its technology. It takes forward the MG’s brand’s legacy with cutting-edge technology and design excellence. India can look forward to immersing into a seamless driving experience with personal AI assistance inside MG Astor.”

Valuable features

The Astor’s interiors are elegantly crafted with soft-touch and premium material. The carmaker is offering a lot of segment-firsts technology-oriented features with AI-powered assistance and an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). It will be powered by two petrol engines – 1.5-litre and 1.3-litre turbo engine. The AI technology in Astor is developed around MG’s vision of Car-as-a-Platform (CAAP) possibilities, which will enable the users to personalise the services as per their requirements.

The MG Astor is also offering valuable features for drivers such as lane control, rear drive assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision prevention, speed assist and headlamp control. Other prominent features of Astor include - 6-way power-adjustable driver seats, a digital key with Bluetooth, electric parking brake, heated ORVM, rain-sensing wiper, panoramic sky roof, rear AC vent, front and rear armrest, 10.1-inch HD infotainment system for the cinematic experience and full digital cluster with a 7-inch embedded LCD screen that has MG i-Smart technology with 80 plus internet features. Three power steering modes are normal, urban and dynamic for different road conditions. In terms of safety, the Astor comes with 6 airbags and 27 standard safety features.

Like any other carmaker in India, MG Motor is also facing problems in chip shortage that is posing major challenges in production at its plant.  The company has already sold 3,241 units in September 2021, a 28 per cent increase in sales compared to last year. Its MG ZS EV sees higher demand in the third consequent month with 600 plus bookings in September. Commenting on the development, Rakesh Sidana, Director-Sales, MG Motor India, said, “Our production has reduced by almost one-third due to chip shortage. We expect this challenge to continue for the next few months. However, given the high number of bookings, we are trying our best to address the challenge and bring down the waiting period down to three months.” With the festival season around, MG Motor India is getting ready to launch MG Astor to further boost its sales numbers.

MG Astor will compete with established players like Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos along with recent entrants Volkswagen Taigun and Skoda Kushaq, both of which have received an extremely positive response.

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