Kia India to expand capacity to 430,000 units by mid-2024, targets 10% growth in 2023
Korean carmaker looks to up the ante with facelifted Seltos; reveals new product strategy and plans to expand retail network to over 600 showrooms across India.
Kia Motors India, which launched the facelifted Seltos midsize SUV on July 4, has kicked off its next phase of expansion in India. The Korean carmaker, which rolls out its products from its scalable 300,000-units-per-annum plant in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, is currently in the process of expanding its manufacturing capacity to 430,000 units per annum.
Already operating at close to 95-100% capacity, Kia expects the facelifted Seltos to help further expand volumes in the domestic market as well as exports. In FY2023, Kia India sold 269,229 units, up 44% year-on-year (FY2022: 186,787 units). This was its best performance for a fiscal since its market entry in 2019.
Tae Jin Park, MD and CEO of Kia India told Autocar Professional the additional capacity beyond 350,000 units will come up by middle of 2024. "The market growth is slowing down . . . we plan to grow by 10% in the current calendar year. We are hoping for the new Seltos to bring in increased volumes," said Park.
Sales of the Seltos, which accounts for more than half of Kia India's volume, had slipped to about 5,000 to 6,000 units in recent months amid increasing competition.
Kia India aims to ride the growing demand for midsize SUVs with the new Seltos and is targeting monthly sales of over 10,000 units.
With the facelifted Seltos (internally called Seltos PE), the company aims to once again achieve five-digit sales or over 10,000 units a month, which will help Kia outpace the market, which is slated to grow in single digits.
The Seltos remains a key model for Kia globally and accounts for one of every 10 units sold. In India too, the midsize SUV continues to account for 33% of the overall market.
Kia India, on Tuesday, announced its new mid-term plan coined ‘Kia 2.0’ which envisages growing its market share to 10% by 2028 and doubling of the retail network to 600 stores across the country.
All-electric EV9 SUV, which is part of the Kia 2.0 transformation strategy, is slated for an India launch in 2024.
New product game-plan for India
Meanwhile, as part of its new product strategy, Kia has announced plans to launch the new grounds-up compact EV in India as also for global markets, and an RV (recreational vehicle) EV in the next few years. This will help the company expand its addressable market and bring in incremental sales.
According to Park, the company is following a top-down strategy with EVs. “We will start EV6 with high premium EVs, and the next year, we also want to bring the EV9, which is really high (in the top end category) in the EV products. We are thinking and analysing how we can make the CKD for the EV 6,” he concluded.
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