In the very first month of its Indian entry, South Korean automaker Kia Motors has beaten 7 automakers here, many of them established names such as Ford, Volkswagen, Skoda, Jeep, Nissan and Renault. Another new entrant MG Motor has also been beaten by Kia, all thanks to the Seltos compact SUV’s excellent sales numbers of 6,236 units in the very first month of its launch in India. Kia Motors launched the Seltos on the 27th of August, with a sharp starting price of Rs. 9.69 lakhs, ex-showroom. The Seltos rivals the likes of the Renault Duster, Hyundai Creta, Maruti S-Cross and Nissan Kicks in the compact SUV segment. In price terms, it also competes with the Mahindra XUV500, Tata Harrier, Jeep Compass and the MG Hector. Thanks to the Seltos, Kia now has a 3.62 % market share. In contrast, market shares of Renault, Ford, VW, MG Motor, Nissan, Skoda & Jeep stand at 2.9 %, 2.8 %, 1.2 %, 1 %, 0.7 %, 0.6 % and 0.3 %.
Renault, Ford, VW, Nissan and Skoda have been in the Indian market for close to a decade or more while Jeep entered the market a couple of years but has been present in India for years with Fiat. MG Motor is a brand new entrant though, after Chinese automaker SAIC took over General Motors’ Halol factory in Gujarat, and launched the British car brand in India. Coming to the hot selling Seltos that’s propelled Kia to 7th place in the very first month of its introduction, the SUV is offered with 3 engines, and 4 gearbox options. Both petrol and diesel engines offer manual and automatic gearbox options, making the SUV attractive to a large set of buyers. It’s feature-rich, has luxurious interiors and a host of segment leading features that make it the hottest compact SUV in the country.
Kia Motors will follow up the Seltos with another compact SUV and a MPV. The MPV is called the Carnival, and will rival the Toyota Innova Crysta, and will be launched in 2020. The compact SUV will be a sub-4 meter offering that rivals the likes of the Maruti Brezza and the Hyundai Venue. Kia is also planning to launch an electric vehicle, and it could be a small SUV. The automaker has set up a brand new factory at Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh. Though Hyundai owns a significant part of Kia Motors, both automakers operate independently in India. However, they will share platforms, and Hyundai could also use unused capacity at Kia’s Anantapur factory, which currently manufactures a single vehicle – the Seltos.
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