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Kia lines up new models for Indian mkt


Kia India surpasses 5 lakh dispatch milestone from Anantapur plant in Andhra Pradesh

New Delhi Bullish on the long-term growth prospects of the Indian car market, South Korean auto maker Kia plans to introduce new models, enhance sales network and also ramp up production capacity to reduce the waiting period on the existing product range, as per senior company officials.

The carmaker, which currently sells three products, Seltos, Sonet and Carnival, is preparing to drive in a mid-sized multi purpose vehicle (MPV) in the country early next year as it expects the market to start recovering from Covid-19 impact from the festive season this year.

"We are right now focusing on SUV and MPV segments and as part of that we are looking at the feasibility of some kind of a MPV. So we are looking at that possibility and preparing," Kia India Executive Director and Chief Sales and Business Strategy Officer Tae-Jin Park told PTI in an interaction.

The company already sells a premium MPV, Carnival, and is now looking to bring in a mid-sized product to garner volumes. When asked if the company is also considering launching an electric vehicle in the country, Park said that with the government focusing on the segment, the company is also looking at the market situation intently.

"What I can say right now is that we are analysing what kind of an EV can be launched in this market. We have not finalised it yet but we are looking at it," he noted. With Covid-19 situation deteriorating and impacting auto sales, Park hoped for an improvement in the situation by festive season.

"The current situation is impacting sales but we already have some experience from last year so it will not take a very long time. We will overcome this difficult time. I think maybe before the festival season the market will recover again," he said.

Elaborating on the situation, Kia India National Head of Sales and Marketing Hardeep Singh Brar said the market has been very resilient so far. "One thing which is different ... is that last year there was a complete lockdown and now there are partial lockdowns so the overall impact on business is less as compared with last year," he said.

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