Kia rolls out millionth made-in-India car 47 months after market entry
Kia India’s millionth production milestone comes 47 months after it rolled out the first Seltos in August 2019; Seltos accounts for 53% of total production, followed by Sonet (33%) and Carens (12%).
Kia India today rolled out its millionth vehicle from its manufacturing facility in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. The landmark unit was the first unit of the face-lifted Seltos midsize SUV launched on July 4, for which bookings open tomorrow.
The Korean carmaker’s millionth production milestone comes 47 months or a month less than 4 years after it rolled out the first Seltos on August 8, 2019.
As per Autocar Professional’s data analytics, Kia India has till end-June 2023 produced a total of 981,030 units (see data table below). This means the company would have produced the remaining 18,970 units that make the million mark in the first 13 days of July 2023.
The data also reveals that Kia India has, since market entry, sold a total of 757,978 units in the domestic market and exported another 221,032 units. Combined domestic and export sales add up to 979,010 units. Expect the company to also soon announce the surpassing of the million sales milestone.
Unveiling the one-millionth car today, Tae-Jin Park, Managing Director and CEO, Kia India, said, “This is a big moment for us, our employees, and our partners who have lived and supported our journey and helped us in making Kia an integral part of Indian consumer’s lives today. We are extremely grateful for their support and the love of our customers. I feel that the future is bright for Kia India, and the new Seltos marks the beginning of an exhilarating chapter as we continue to drive towards automotive excellence in the Indian market. We will remain dedicated to driving innovation, pushing boundaries, and shaping the future of mobility in India."
The first Seltos rolled out of Kia India's Anantapur plant on August 8, 2019.
Seltos accounts for 53% of Kia India production
A relatively unknown brand in India barely four years ago, Kia is now a formidable player in the competitive Indian market and the India operation a jewel in the Korean carmaker’s crown.
The Seltos, which was Kia’s vehicle of entry into the India market in August 2019, raced past 500,000 sales in a record 46 months. Kia expanded its product portfolio with the Carnival MPV and Sonet compact SUV in 2020, followed by the Carens MPV and all-electric EV6 in 2022, solidifying its position in the Indian market.
That Kia would be a big-numbers player was apparent in a few months after market entry. The strategy of launching its first product in multiple variants, at multiple price-points, clicked majorly in a competitive SUV market, and has since been duplicated by some rival OEMs too.
While it has a 6% share of the Indian passener vehicle market at the end of June 2023, Kia India has an 11% of the utility vehicle market, a creditable performance for a young brand in a very competitive marketplace.
Kia Motors began construction of the plant, its first in India and representing an investment of around US$ 1.1 billion, in the first quarter of 2017.
The state-of-the-art integrated Kia facility at Anantapur has thus far manufactured over 532,450 units of Seltos (both outgoing and incoming model), which translates into 53% of total production till now. While the Sonet with 332,450 units accounts for 33% of the output, Kia has rolled out 120,516 units of the much-in-demand Carens MPV launched in February 2022 and has contributed 12% to Kia India production to date. The now-discontinued Carnival MPV, with 14,584 units, accounts for a 1.45% share of the production.
To celebrate its millionth production vehicle, Kia Idia’s celebratory event at the Anantapur plant was attended by high-level government representatives of the government of Andhra Pradesh. They included the Minister for Finance, Planning and Legislative Affairs, Buggana Rajendranath Reddy; Minister of Industries, Infrastructure, Investment & Commerce, Information Technology, Gudivada Amarnath; Member of Parliament, Gorantla Madhav and Member of the Legislative Assembly from Penukonda, G Sankaranarayana.
Kia India's export performance
One of the major attractions for any vehicle manufacturer in India is to deploy the make-in-India manufacturing mantra for its export operation. For Kia, India has also turned out to be a strong growth driver for its global export market programme.
Kia India kicked off its made-in-India export drive in September 2019, with its first overseas consignment of 471 Seltos SUVs despatched from Chennai Port and headed for South America. The company has inked a 10-year MoU with the Chennai Port for its export operations.
Like the domestic market, the Seltos accounts for the bulk of export sales – 142,080 units or 64 % of total exports.
A little over four years since it began shipping its made-in-India vehicles abroad, Kia India has recorded cumulative shipments of 221,032 units till end-June 2023. Like the domestic market, the Seltos accounts for the bulk of export sales – 142,080 units or 64 % of total exports. The Sonet compact SUV, which is solely produced in India, accounts for 68,538 units or 31%, while the Carens MPV has chalked up shipments of 10,273 units or 4.64% of Kia India’s total exports (see export sales data table above).
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