Kia Sonet sales in India and exports cross 350,000 units
Launched in September 2020, Kia India’s first compact SUV registers a new sales milestone and is the second best-selling product for the Korean carmaker after the midsize Seltos SUV; facelifted Sonet to be launched this December.
On September 20, 2023, the Kia Sonet turned three years old. A month later, Kia India’s first compact SUV surpassed combined sales of 350,000 units in the domestic and exports market. As of end-October 2023, the made-in-India Sonet had a total sales tally of 360,663 units – 277,236 units in India and 83,427 units exported to global markets. On December 14, the Korean carmaker will unveil the refreshed Sonet, aiming for speedier traction in the booming SUV market in India.
Sonet is the strong second-best-selling product for Kia India after the Seltos.
The latest sales milestone has come in 37 months since the Sonet was launched and reflects the SUV’s strong contribution to Kia India’s overall sales. In the Indian market, from launch through to end-October 2023, the Kia Sonet has sold a total of 277,236 units, accounting for 33% of Kia India’s total sales of 841,573 vehicles since August 2019.
The Seltos midsize SUV, with 425,165 units and a 50.52% share of total Kia India sales, is the company best-seller. The third best-selling Kia product is the Carens MPV with 123,573 and 14.68% share and in a short span of time. The all-electric EV6 MPV, launched in FY2023, has sold 1,057 units.
What is creditable about the Kia is that despite being launched when the Covid-19 pandemic was at its peak in India, it went on to cross the 100,000-unit sales milestone on September 14, 2021, 261 days or less than a year after its launch. The 150,000-unit sales milestone came up in June 2022. The 250,000-units mark came up in 34 months since launch. Expect the Sonet to surpass the 300,000 sales milestone in the domestic market in the next couple of months.
From selling 63,717 units in the last seven months of FY2021, the Sonet clocked 16% YoY growth in FY2022 with 73,864 units. It went on to record 27% growth in FY2023 with 94,096 units and contributed to 35% of Kia India’s total sales last fiscal. Sales in the first seven months of FY2024 at 45,559 units have been somewhat slow but that can be put down to consumers awaiting the launch of the new Sonet soon.
On the export front, the Sonet continues to see demand and since FY2021 through to end-October 2023, Kia India has shipped 83,427 units of the compact SUV to many overseas markets. The launch of the new Sonet should give a further fillip to exports.
Interestingly, at 10,82,697 units, Kia India has surpassed the one-million sales mark with cumulative sales of 841,573 units in India and total exports of 241,124 units since FY2020.
In August 2023, Kia India introduced an electric sunroof in its Sonet Smartstream G1.2 HTK+ variant, priced at Rs 976,000.
Twenty-three Sonet variants on offer
The Kia Sonet is currently available in as many as 23 variants – 12 petrol and 11 diesel variants, with the Sonet the sole compact SUV to offer a 1.5-litre diesel engine with automatic transmission. The two most preferred colours for the Sonet are Glacier White Pearl and Aurora Black Pearl, and account for the major contribution in the company’s overall despatches.
In May this year, Kia India launched the Sonet Aurochs Edition at Rs 11.85 lakh (ex-showroom), which sits between the HTX and HTX+ trims in the Sonet’s variant line-up.
The Sonet currently comes with BS6 Stage II-compliant engines that were updated earlier this year – an 83hp, 115Nm, 1.2-litre petrol engine; a 120hp, 172Nm, 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine; and a 116hp, 250Nm, 1.5-litre diesel engine. Pricing starts at Rs 876,000 (on-road Delhi) for the 1.2 petrol-engined HTE and goes up to Rs 17.52 lakh (on-road Delhi) for the diesel-engined X-Line AT.
In its buyer’s guide commentary on the Kia Sonet, Autocar India states: “Kia’s compact SUV is big on appeal. A striking design, upmarket cabin and segment-best features are the draws here and will help justify its premium pricing to an extent. There are also a variety of engine and gearbox options to choose from including a superb (but pricey) 1.5-litre diesel automatic. The Sonet does lose points for its average rear seat space.”
New Sonet launch this December
Kia India, which will be launching the new Sonet in December 2023, will be banking on the refreshed compact SUV to make big gains in a market teeming with rivals. The Sonet’s main rivals are the Tata Nexon, Hyundai Venue, Mahindra XUV300, Maruti Suzuki Brezza, Maruti Suzuki Fronx, Nissan Magnite and the Renault Kiger.
In the ongoing fiscal’s April-September 2023 period, a total of 593,230 compact SUVs (SUVs below 4,000mm length), up 18% YoY, were dispatched to showrooms in India, accounting for 50% of the total 11,86,155 utility vehicles (SUVs and MPVs) sold.
Even as demand grows for midsize SUVs in the country, Kia will be looking to make a big statement with its refreshed Sonet. Will the competition have reason to be worried? We’ll have wait till the newest avatar of the Sonet and its pricing are revealed this December.
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