The Indian Automotive market has seen two major players enter the arena this year and with that, defending companies like Hyundai, Maruti, Tata and Mahindra have introduced their own new contenders. The ground is shaking with the fierce battle and already, a new champion is on the rise.
Unmatched Popularity Figures
Six thousand bookings on the very first day of commencement have reached forty thousand in just a matter of thirty five days – between 22nd of August and 25th of September – and with that a new record has been set, pushing higher the popularity of the already celebrated Kia Seltos. The only car coming close to this number is the Hyundai Venue with fifty thousand bookings over a period of sixty days. The average waiting time for the Kia Seltos is now nearly two months and the company has assured the beginning of a second shift at its plant in Anantpur, Andhra Pradesh, to meet with the growing demand. The last month itself has seen the production rate rise from six thousand two hundred units being produced in August this year to nearly ten thousand by the end of September.
Behind the Success
Manohar Bhatt, National head for Sales and Marketing in India was found quoting that the success achieved by the Seltos can be credited to the precise planning and research done by the company’s team on the needs of the Indian customers. Their planning and preparation began three years in advance and the team started off by conducting customer clinics and interviewing industry experts and vendors in order to infer the projected evolution pattern of the Indian market.
Moreover, the unmatched introductory price of Rs. 9.69 lakh acted as the perfect catalyst to Kia’s sales plan execution. Their aggressive network strategy has enabled them to establish their presence in over a hundred and sixty Indian cities with about two hundred and sixty five Kia touch-points to cover a majority of the potential Indian SUV buyers.
Their dealer point numbers exceed those of most well established Indian companies that have been in the market for over a decade.
Need for Adequate Infrastructure
Also an important player in the global EV industry, Kia controls 5%-6% of the market share in developed economies like America, Europe and Korea. The company also presented an Electric Platform model to the Andhra Pradesh government but the feedback clarified that it was too soon for that big a step.
Kia officials strongly feel that once the country has enough charging stations and battery checkpoints across, it would greatly encourage the electrification of the Indian automobile industry. With adequate infrastructure for recharging, competitive pricing and range anxiety issues would be better tackled.
Other Features of the Car Include:
The Seltos will also come equipped with a UVO connected air purifier – an Internet connected service platform by Kia motors – that will allow its owner to track their car using just their smartphone and also control some of the features of the car through the phone. The purifier is said to be capable of removing upto ninety five percent impurities and germs in the car cabin in under twenty five minutes.
The car will also come with a factory installed lightbar integrated within its front grille – as an extension to the headlamps, adding to the aesthetic appeal of the front facia. A 360 degree view camera will come as part of the standard package, but will only be functional at slow speeds or getting in and out of a parking spot. The driver will get a real time view from the rear camera on the infotainment screen. The camera also aids in the blind spot detection feature, that comes as a first in the Seltos among its peers being sold in the Indian market.
Although not a four wheel drive vehicle, the Seltos comes with three terrain modes – Sand, Mud and Wet. The drive setting variations in the modes are quite extreme and are claimed to be top notch. All variants come with a touch screen infotainment system with only the sizes varying between 3.8 inches, 8 inches and 10.25 inches for the lower, mid and top end respectively.
The car also features dancing LED ambient lights which are connected to the infotainment system in the car and come with different themes. Eight mono settings and four theme settings work to change ambience and mood of the interior as per the driver’s need.
The company expects production to cross three hundred thousand units in the very first year of its launch. Every aspect of the car – design, features, styling, colour options, experience and most of all – the price, altogether work as the perfect recipe towards the success and unparalleled popularity of the Kia Seltos, and are likely to help it become the largest selling Mid-sized SUV in the Indian market, beating any challengers to the title, hands down.