With regards to the demand recovery in hinterland markets, Korean auto major Kia is pulling together consideration on small town India. This new rural focus rides close by the relaunch of its India image through another name, new logo and new slogan. Kia has changed the name of its Indian entity from Kia Motors India to Kia India to flag a change in focus to ‘long range of sustainable mobility solutions’.
“All our expansion in sales and service touchpoints this year will be in Tier 3 and Tier 4 towns and cities and we are adding around 45 new towns to our network. These are markets that are growing faster than metros and we are tapping into this demand,” said Hardeep Singh Brar, VP & head of sales and marketing, Kia India. Kia is as of now present in 175 cities and all the extension this year will be in smaller and cities, he added. In all Kia has 300 touchpoints countrywide.
The hinterland focus comes in spite of the way that Kia has ‘no plans’ to get into conservative car or minimized hatchback market, the less expensive vehicles that appreciate greater volumes past metro markets. “Although the top 20 cities contribute 80% of the SUV sales which is the segment we are focusing on, we see incremental volumes coming from smaller markets too,” said Tae Jin Park, executive director & chief sales and business strategy officer, Kia India. The company is planning to get its third shift operational from June-July “if demand goes well,” he said.
Kia sold around 55,000 vehicles in the initial three months of the schedule and is focusing on creation of around 2,00,000 units this year. The organization has a pinnacle limit of 3,50,000 units. “We have been facing production constraints due to the supply of semi conductors,” said Park. The organization had reported targeted creation of 1,80,000 units a year ago which has been updated to 2,00,000 units this year. “We are as yet assessing effect of the second influx of the pandemic,” said Park.