Kia Motors India, which drove into the passenger vehicle market with its Seltos SUV in August last year, has today achieved a landmark milestone with respect to the connectivity suite offered on its products.
Kia’s Uvo Connect technology, which is the fundamental telematics and connectivity suite offered by the Korean carmaker in the Seltos and the more recently launched Carnival MPV, has registered 50,000 active subscriptions in the country. The company claims that it is the only manufacturer in India to have raced past this milestone within 10 months of launching its first product in the market.
Introduced in the Seltos, the e-SIM-based Uvo Connect connected car technology started off by offering a total of 37 features such as live location tracking, geofencing, panic notification and remote engine turn on and off in the automatic variants of the crossover.
However, given the aggressive competition in the market, Kia has recently updated its connectivity offering and included more features such as a voice-assisted wake-up command – Hello Kia. With this addition, the Uvo Connect car system features nine new voice commands including calling, weather information, time and date, Indian holiday information, cricket score, media control, navigation control and climate control. Additionally, the Uvo smart watch app connectivity option offers added convenience of using the connectivity features through a smart watch, built on Android, iOS or Tizen operating systems.
OEMs in connectivity race
While Kia Motors India is aiming to lure customers with its connected car features on offer, the company, however, is not the sole OEM to be initiating on this road to in-vehicle connectivity. MG Motor India, which entered the country just months before Kia’s launch, could be attributed to have flagged off this entire race to connectivity.
With the launch of the MG Hector SUV, the company also introduced the MG iSmart connected car suite in its debutant product for the Indian market last year. MG Motor India could also be credited to have actually partnered technology giants such as SAP, Adobe and Cognizant as well as service providers of the likes of TomTom and Airtel to drive the connected car features in its cars.
Similarly, Kia’s sibling Hyundai Motor India has been offering a similar platform christened Hyundai Blue Link. The telematics suite is available in the latest Creta, as well as Venue SUVs.
Speaking on Kia’s achievement, Kookhyun Shim, MD and CEO, Kia Motors India, said, “We have attained this landmark figure due to our strong determination and continuous efforts to bring innovation and next-gen technology to our customers. At Kia Motors India, we are committed to meet new consumer demands and fill the gap in what’s offered to them. Kia’s innovative Uvo Connect technology has brought about a significant change in the way owners engage with their cars in India. Now with the updated Uvo Connect features in the new Seltos and upcoming Sonet, Kia has made driving even more fun, safe, convenient and comfortable.”
With the latest update, Kia claims that the Uvo Connect has also helped customers remotely immobilise their stolen vehicle with the help of Kia’s dedicated call centre. Its auto notification feature is also claimed to have been a lifesaving technology, automatically intimating friends and family in the event of a crash. Kia now aims to offer the Uvo Connect suite in its upcoming Sonet compact crossover expected to be introduced in the country around August.
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