Aside from revealing its new brand logo and identity, Kia India has also shed some light on their future plans for the Indian market. The Korean carmaker will expand its reach to 360 touchpoints this year and bring in a new SUV in 2022
Since its debut in the Indian market, Kia India has had a good run so far. With just three products on sale – Sonet, Seltos and the Carnival, the Korean carmaker has done well to stir up the market. Kia has dispatched more than 60,000 units of the Sonet since its launch in September last year. Meanwhile, the Seltos continues to be doing well on the sales charts too, standing just a whisker below the Hyundai Creta which is the best-selling SUV in its class. With such a great response in its formative years in the country, Kia is currently the fourth highest selling carmaker with nearly 6% market share.
On the side lines of the launch of their new brand identity, Kia India has revealed its future plans. From expanding its reach across the country to new product launches, here’s what you can expect from Kia India in the near future.
At the virtual press conference today, Kia India revealed that the Sonet and the Seltos with the new logo will go on sale in the first week of May. In fact, with this change, both cars are expected to get some mild revisions too. Kia India also confirmed the launch of a few special edition variants subsequently in the year. Additionally, the Korean carmaker also plans to enter in the new SUV segment in 2022. While the company didn’t release any more details about their upcoming offer, it could possibly be the new Sorento, which will take on the likes of the Hyundai Alcazar, MG Hector Plus and the Tata Safari.
Kia has also just pulled the wraps off a 7-seater iteration of the Sonet for the Indonesian market. The compact MPV, however, will not make it to the Indian market as of now. Speaking of 7-seater offerings in the mid-sized space, however, Hardeep Singh Brar, Vice President & Head of Sales and Marketing, Kia India, said, “I think it is an interesting segment and lately there has been a lot of discussion around it. There have been a lot of new entrants and new players coming in too. With the kind of flexibility that these cars offer customers, it is surely a new and emerging segment, and we are also evaluating it.”
Dealership and customer touchpoints:
Kia will focus heavily on expanding its network this year from its current 300 customer touchpoints across the country. The company plans to increase the number to 360 by the end of the year with increased focus on Tier II and Tier III cities. By the end of 2021, Kia will have its presence in 218 cities across the country. Kia will also add another 60 mobile workshops to its current count of 40 by the end of the year.
Kia cars currently have quite waiting period ranging between 2-5 months for the Sonet and the Seltos. While the long wait time is partly due to supply chain challenges over the last year, especially with the pandemic forcing us into repeated lockdowns. That being said, Kia does have plans to increase the production of their cars in the next 2-3 months.
Globally, Kia has just announced the introduction of 11 new EVs by 2026. In the Indian market, however, there will be no EVs from Kia in the near future. Speaking about the same, Hardeep Singh Brar said, “If we look at the EV ecosystem in India, there are three critical components when it comes to making EVs successful – charging infrastructure, driving range and product pricing. Looking at all three aspects we feel it is still some time away before electrification can really reach a level where we can look at significant numbers – today it is less than 0.5%. So, we feel it is still some time away. Having said that, when looking at future mobility, EVs are still part of the plan from a long-term perspective.”