Sonet was the best-selling Kia model this year and the manufacturer will continue to build on the success of the B-SUV which has managed to leave behind many big players in the field. While a timely assessment of the situation helped the automaker stay afloat through a bad year, TOI Auto struck up a conversation with Kia to understand the automaker’s outlook for 2021.
Bet big on Sonet
Despite the roller coaster of 2020, Kia managed to move forward with a solid first quarter with around 40,000 sales. But it was the Kia Sonet that drove the automaker’s strong recovery thanks to a lame economy.
“Even at the height of the pandemic, we saw demand for our products and therefore we planned ahead to emerge even stronger from the pandemic situation. We haven’t strayed from our pre-planned activities like the launch of Sonet and, in fact, we’ve added a series of initiatives to support our existing plan, ”the automaker said.
While Kia’s secondary goal is to introduce more relevant offerings to India over the years, the primary goal would be to focus on strong demand from Sonet, which currently holds a 20% segment share in the market. The automaker has already revamped the production capacity of the Sonet to 3.00,000 units per year.
“Currently our goal is to meet growing demand for Sonet, followed by Seltos and Carnival. Our product strategy is based on what will be relevant for India in the years to come and our aim is to study and analyze in depth the sentiments in the post-COVID-19 world to plan for the future ”, a added Kia.
Level IV Market Expansion
The automaker has seen a lot of interest from rural markets and Tier-IV markets in particular seem to have a lot of potential. For 2021, Kia aims to strengthen its rural network to be more accessible to potential customers there.
“We met our 2020 expansion target to 300 touchpoints, which was primarily focused on expanding into Tier IV and hinterland markets such as the northeast, northern part of Telangana, Karnataka and western Rajasthan, etc. In 2021, we will penetrate further into the Indian market and try to get closer to our customers ”.
To this question, the automaker only that its Anantapur plant in Andhra Pradesh is already capable of producing electric vehicles but that India should wait a little longer to implement Kia’s comprehensive Plan S strategy for boost electric mobility.
“EV’s success depends on infrastructure supported by stable and streamlined policies to support sustainability. Until then, we would like to wait for the introduction of our range of electric vehicles to the Indian market ”.
Adapt to new trends in 2021
Kia firmly believes that following the trends is the key to staying ahead of the competition. The automaker is a major player in the connected car space and Kia expects its market share to increase for that reason alone.
“Leading the connected car space with 100,000 Kia connected cars, we expect the demand for our technologically advanced products to increase further among consumers. We will also continue to evolve with the tendency to offer innovative technologies to solve the problems of urban mobility. In the post-Covid digitized world, we will continue to strengthen our “Phygital” model with our network to provide a smooth, safer and unparalleled customer experience ”.