What Is Kia Planning For the India Market Kia India is looking to target tier III and tier IV towns while also enhancing presence in some of the bigger cities

By Shrabona Ghosh

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In the picture (From left) Hardeep Singh Brar, Head of Sales & Marketing, Mr. Myung-Sik Sohn - Chief Sales and Business Officer and Mr. Tae Jin Park, MD and CEO - Kia India at the World Premiere of Kia Sonet

The Indian auto industry witnessed an overall sales growth of 19 per cent during the festive season and the passenger vehicle witnessed a 10 per cent year-on-year growth in the given period. The segment achieved its highest-ever sales in November 2023, reaching 3.34 lakh units. This figure reflects a 3.7 percent year-on-year growth compared to November 2022 when sales were at 3.22 lakh units, said Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), in its latest report. One of the top carmakers of India, Kia, a south-Korean company, entered India in 2019 and has cornered a market share of around 6 per cent. The company aims to have a 10 per cent market share by 2025.

In the month of November 2023, the carmaker managed to sell an aggregate of 22,762 units which was a decline of 5.3 per cent in terms of year-on-year growth. Nonetheless, with its upcoming new launches, the company aims to ramp up its sales. The automaker also has plans to curtail exports from the country in order to effectively cater to the demand in the domestic market. "We have an aggressive business plan for next year," said Tae-Jin ParkKia, MD and CEO, KIa India, on the sidelines of the global premier of the latest version of its compact SUV Sonet. Kia currently has a production capacity of 3.4 lakh units per annum at its Andhra Pradesh-based manufacturing plant. Although the company is open to optimizing efficiency to cater to demands, it has no immediate plans to increase manufacturing capacities in India.

On enhancing the sales network, Kia India is looking to target tier III and tier IV towns next year while also enhancing presence in some of the bigger cities. "Almost 65 per cent of sales come from Tier I and II, the rest one-third comes from Tier III & IV," said Hardeep S. Brar, VP, & Head of Marketing, Kia India. "The mid-SUV segment are our top selling models," he added.

Kia is looking to expand its electric vehicle charging infrastructure ahead of the launch of its mass market electric car in 2025 which is aimed at a more price sensitive consumer base. Mungs Sik Sohn, Chief Sales and Business Officer, Kia India, also confirmed that the car will have a higher range than the Nexon EV. "While I cannot reveal the price range, it will be very affordable, comparable with the Tata Nexon (EV). It will be a mass-market EV and we want to sell more than 10,000 units a year," Sohn said.

The company has no plans to assemble the EV6 or the upcoming EV9 premium e-SUV in India. Speaking about the launch of EV9 in India, Brar said, "It will be launched in mid of 2024."

Shrabona Ghosh

Correspondent

A journalist with a cosmopolitan mindset. I lead a project called 'Corporate Innovations' wherein I cover corporates across verticals and try to tell stories on innovations. Apart from this, I write industry pieces on FMCGs, auto, aviation, 5G and defense. 

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