Anticipation around Kia Motors’ first vehicle for the Indian market – the Seltos compact SUV – seems quite high. Ahead of the official launch on 22nd August 2019, Kia Motors officially opened bookings for the SUV yesterday. In a single day, over 6,000 people across India have booked this SUV, breaking a record of sorts. No car in India has ever managed 6,000 bookings in the first day of bookings opening. 1,628 bookings came online, through the website Kia has created for booking the Seltos. The rest of the bookings came through the 166 strong dealership network the South Korean automaker has already put together in the Indian market. The booking amount is pegged at Rs. 25,000, and deliveries of the Seltos is likely to begin right from the day of launch in August. Booking in advance will allow buyers to break the queue as long waiting periods are likely once Kia announces the prices for the Seltos. Prices are estimated to start from Rs. 11 lakhs, making the Seltos pricier than the Hyundai Creta but cheaper than the likes of the Mahindra XUV500, the MG Hector and the Tata Harrier.
Mr. Manohar Bhat, Vice President, and Head – Sales & Marketing, Kia Motors India said,
Getting such an overwhelming response from customers across the 160 cities where we are present, makes us elated. It is a remarkable feat and is a testament to Kia’s unparalleled & extraordinary brand recognition and acceptability in India that our brand campaign has help us achieve. Our mid-SUV, the Seltos is BSVI compliant from day 1 and is available in both petrol and diesel, with both Manual and Automatic options in all powertrains, it makes it an attractive proposition. We are committed to the Indian market and to delivering the best and class leading products. With our most modern automotive plant having 3 lakh capacity, we are fully prepared to make on time deliveries and uphold the trust our customers have shown in us.
Hyundai has over 30 % stake in Kia Motors but in India, both brands will operate separately even as they share platforms and parts sourcing. The Kia brand is likely to be positioned at a slight premium over Hyundai in India. The automaker has established a factory in Anantapur, which is quite some distance away from Chennai, where the Hyundai factory is situated. The factory has already begun production of the Seltos and the automaker is likely to launch another SUV – a Hyundai Venue rival – sometime next year.
Coming back to the Kia Seltos, the SUV will be offered with 3 engines: two in petrol and one in diesel. The petrol engines will be a 1.5 liter-4 cylinder naturally aspirated unit with 113 Bhp-144 Nm and a 1.4 liter-4 cylinder turbocharged unit with 138 Bhp-242 Nm. The diesel will be a 1.5 liter-4 cylinder turbocharged unit with 113 Bhp-250 Nm. All engines will meet BS6 emission norms right from the outset, and will be offered with 6 speed manual gearboxes as standard. A 6 speed torque converter automatic gearbox will be offered on the diesel while the naturally aspirated petrol will get a CVT automatic option. The turbo petrol engine will get a sporty 7 speed twin clutch automatic gearbox. The SUV will get a slew of premium features including a Bose sound system, a 10.25 inch touchscreen interface with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, internet connectivity, navigation, and more, an electric sunroof, ambient lighting, air purifier, LED projector headlamps, power adjustable driver’s seat with ventilation, and leather interiors.