“Welcome, Benedict.” “Hello, MG.” British actor Benedict Cumberbatch greets his car, MG Hector, as he slides behind the wheel.

This series of ads—with Cumberbatch calling his car “a human thing”—heralded the entry of the auto manufacturer MG Motors’ internet-connected car into India in June. Barely two weeks after bookings opened, the company had to stop taking orders as the overwhelming demand had pushed the waiting period to seven months.