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Kia 1st In India To Sell 1 Lakh Connected Cars – Thanks To Sonet, Seltos

New Kia Sonet
Image – Brijendra

The Kia UVO Connect platform offers 57 smart features including voice commands, smartphone and smartwatch connectivity

Kia India has been braking sales record after the other since its inception 16 months ago. To say that the South Korean automaker disrupted the Indian mid-premium passenger car segment is not an overstatement. Kia has now become the first OEM in the country to reach 1 lakh sales milestone when it comes to connected cars. Total sales have crossed 2 lakh.

Kia UVO Connect

Kia’s UVO Connect in-car platform connects smartphones, smartwatches, the car and its infotainment system into a single unit to offer a seamless driving experience. Around 55% of Kia cars sold in India till date were equipped with UVO Connect, indicating its appeal among customers.

This sales milestone demonstrates that majority of Indian customers are tech-savvy and it is imperative for automakers to offer connected-car experience as one of key selling points. The UVO Connect is a suit of 57 smart features which can be connected to iOS, Android and Tizen (smartwatch OS) platforms, and features voice commands for phone calls, weather, date and time, media control, navigation, cricket score, climate control and holiday information.

It also extends to stolen vehicle immobilization, remote engine start/stop, remote smart pure air on, live car tracking, auto collision notification and so on. The connected car service comes with a 3-year free subscription.

Kia Seltos Exports
Image – Chaitanya

Kia connected cars

Kia India currently retails the Sonet, Seltos and Carnival. All the three are equipped with UVO Connect platform. The Seltos GTX Plus 1.4 DCT variant is the largest selling Kia connected car in India, accounting for 15% of the 1 lakh sales volume.

Kia has found its niche in the country’s mid-premium segment and is working on more products to consolidate its leadership position and continue on its growth trajectory. It is safe to assume that every future Kia product for India will be equipped with connected car technology.

Kia will continue to focus on higher segments and is not likely to enter the mass market small car space where the competition is intense. Maruti and Kia’s sister brand Hyundai have got the Indian small car segment covered and history has clearly demonstrates that it is a tough segment to crack for new comers.

If things go as per planned, the automaker’s Anantapur plant will soon reach its maximum installed capacity of around 3,00,000 units per annum. Kia management has hinted that it has provisions to expand the plant’s output and will do so before exploring options for a possible second manufacturing plant.

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