As per a latest report, world’s 8th largest auto-maker, Kia Motors is planning on achieving the Top 5 slot in the Indian market in a record time of 3 years. The South Korean manufacturer intends to launch its first product before Diwali’19 and then 5 more products in the remaining 30 months, translating into a new product launch every 6 months.
Kia is currently readying its INR 7,700 crore factory in Anantpur, Andhra Pradesh. The factory is due to start commercial production from September’19 and has an overall installed capacity to produce 3 lakh cars every year.
Globally, Kia is known to provide value for money products with some interesting designs. However, in India, Kia wants to position itself as a ‘Premium Brand’ in the mass market segment. To ensure that the automaker is looked at as a premium car manufacturer, Kia will try and stay away from compact cars, until and unless it needs support to meet its sales targets.
Currently, Maruti Suzuki rules the Indian market with a 50% market share, followed by Hyundai which has 16-17% of the market. Tata Motors, Mahindra and Honda keep shuffling between the 3rd, 4th and 5th positions with each selling around 15k – 18K vehicles per month and commanding a market share of 6-7% each.
To enter this elite club, Kia will have to ensure that it at least manages sales of around 16-17K units per month. However, at the moment, Kia’s line-up and prospects look bright. The first product due for launch is the SP Concept which shares its underpinning with the Hyundai Creta. Creta alone sells around 10k+ units per month so if Kia gets the pricing right, the SP Concept can provide the South Korean manufacturer a good start.
Other prospective products like the i20 based Kia Rio, Tuscon based Sportage and Sonata based Optima too look promising. Kia is also planning to launch an India specific EV around 2021. It had recently gifted 3 variants of the Niro; a Hybrid, a plug-in Hybrid and an all-electric version to the AP Government.