Kia plans to launch 3 new models, including 2 EVs in India by 2025: MD & CEO Tae-Jin Park
The company has set a target of garnering 10 per cent market share in the India passenger vehicles market in the near future, up from around 7 per cent at present, under its Kia 2.0 strategy in the country.
South Korean automaker Kia plans to launch three new models, including two electric vehicles in India by 2025, expecting 20 per cent of its total sales to come from EVs by 2030. The company, which on Tuesday unveiled the updated version of its flagship SUV Seltos, has set a target of garnering 10 per cent market share in the India passenger vehicles market in the near future, up from around 7 per cent at present, under its Kia 2.0 strategy in the country.
"We have a long-term focus on the Indian market. As we already know, the Indian market is a very high potential market, as the number third (largest automotive market in the world)," Kia India Managing Director and CEO, Tae-Jin Park told PTI in an interview here.
In order to keep pace with the growth trend in India, he said the company's current model line up is "not enough to maintain our market share".
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"So, that is why we are thinking about new products for this market that could be happening in 2025 with some ICE (internal combustion engine) and some EV models which are locally produced," Park said.
When asked for details, he said, "two EV models and one ICE model are coming in 2025."
These are RV (recreational vehicle) models developed by Kia globally, he added.
All these will be locally assembled at Kia India's plant at Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh.
Park said the company expects the EV market to accelerate in India by 2025, but the ICE vehicles would continue to co-exist for another 10-15 years, unlike the European market where there is an abrupt shift from ICE to EVs.
"That is why we think even though the EV market is not 100 per cent changing from ICE to EV in India, but when you think about the total number of EVs in India it is a big potential for us."
Park said by 2030, as per the company's estimates, EV sales in India could account for 20 per cent of passenger vehicle sales when the market touches the 5 million units mark annually.
Kia India also expects a similar contribution to its sales from EVs, he added.
Park also said the company would continue to sell diesel vehicles in the country as there is still a demand story in it. However if the emission norms get stricter then the company may consider hybrid and other technologies.
In order to cater to the growing demand, the company is also enhancing its production capacity to 3.5 lakh units annually this year, he said, adding "it could go up to 4.3 lakh units per annum".
After that, Park said if the demand continues to be robust then Kia India could consider setting up of a new production line at its existing facility premises.
On exports, he said with the company focusing on the Indian market, its overseas shipments could come down to about 20 per cent of total production from 25 per cent.
The automaker will also double its existing sales network in India from over 300 to 600 plus outlets by 2028.
On the new Seltos, Park said the strategic launch is key to the company's ambitions of attaining 10 per cent market share soon.
"We feel that there is a lot of growth potential in the mid-SUV segment, and the new Seltos will grow the premium-end of it," Park noted.
With the refreshed look, most powerful engine in the segment, and host of safety and smart features, the new Seltos inevitably will emerge as the most preferred drive for new-age customers, he added.
Seltos brand currently contributes 55 per cent to Kia India's overall sales.
Seltos is one of the biggest brands for Kia Corporation with one out of every ten Kia cars sold globally being a Seltos.
The new Seltos comes with all-new interiors and various safety features including level-2 advanced driver assistance systems.
The model is powered by 1.5 litre petrol and diesel powertrains mated with manual and automatic transmissions.
Kia will open the bookings for the model, which would be available in 18 trims, on July 14 and commence sales on July 25.