The Kia Seltos has turned out to be the biggest success story of the year 2019 in the automotive sector of India. The compact SUV was launched back in August this year and has received an overwhelming response from buyers. Now, Kia Motors has officially stated that bookings for the Seltos have crossed the 60,000 units mark till date. The same was told to ET by Manohar Bhat, VP and head of sales and marketing at Kia Motors. Manohar also discussed how Kia is now focusing on meeting the extremely high demands of the Seltos and the manufacturer’s plans to keep up with the bookings.
Kia Motors has already started its second shift at Anantapur facility in Andhra Pradesh. Around 1,000 employees have been hired by the company which will enable it to ramp up the production capacity to over 15,000 units a month. If demand persists, Kia is even considering to increase its production capacity to 4 lakh units per annum from the current 3 lakh units capacity. Long waiting periods are not good for any vehicle and lead to cancelled bookings among other things. Being a new entrant in the market, Kia would definitely want to avoid that and deliver a good experience to its customers.
Talking to ET about how Kia’s plans to meet the demand of the Seltos, Manohar Bhat said:
Ramping up production is a complicated process as it involves various external elements like vendors and reorganizing the domestic and international supply chain, etc. We have increased the pace of deliveries. India has shown tremendous potential and acceptance for us.
The demand for the Kia Seltos is not just limited to tier-1 cities which were its intended market but also tier-2 and tier-3 cities. According to the sales data, around 60% of the total sales came from the top 10 cities. However, the rest of the demand has been generated by tier-2 towns and cities. Talking about Kia’s future plan for India, the company plans to launch one new product every six months for the next three years. It has invested over a billion dollars in its plant and a similar amount has been put in by the vendors as well.
Kia’s next launch in India will happen by January 2020. The next vehicle to be launched here is the Carnival MPV which will sit slightly above the Toyota Innova Crysta in terms of pricing and will also be larger than the popular Toyota MPV. This will then be followed by a sub-4 metre SUV which would be launched by July 2020. Codenamed the QYI, this SUV will directly take on the likes of the Hyundai Venue, Ford Ecosport, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Mahindra XUV300 and the Tata Nexon among others in its segment.
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