January 16, 2021

Kia Motors expects slight delay in new mannequin launches on account of coronavirus pandemic

NEW DELHI: South Korean auto main Kia Motors, which had deliberate to convey one new product each six months in India, expects slight delays in future mannequin launches within the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, in response to a senior firm official.

The corporate, which can launch its compact SUV Sonet — its third mannequin in India –next month, nonetheless, believes within the mid and long run potential of the nation regardless of the momentary blip at current, and its total plans stay unchanged.

Kia Motors India additionally expects to do higher this yr with its third mannequin to be obtainable though the auto business goes by means of a tough journey on account of a chronic demand slowdown that began from final yr coupled with the impression of the pandemic induced lockdown.

“We had stated that each six months we’ll convey a brand new car. We’re doing that with Sonet after we launched Carnival regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kia Motors India Vice-President & Head – Advertising and Gross sales, Manohar Bhat advised PTI.

When requested if the plan would stay intact regardless of the worldwide well being disaster, he stated, “Going ahead we’ll research the market development, to see the place it’s going within the aftermath of COVID-19. We had deliberate a few autos. We’ll see however we intend to hold on with our dedication though there might be some slight delays.”

On the 2018 Auto Expo, Kia had introduced that it deliberate to introduce a various vary of autos in India, together with an India-exclusive compact electrical car between 2019 and 2021.

Kia has to date invested to the tune of USD 2 billion in India, the place it has arrange a contemporary manufacturing unit at Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh with a producing capability of three lakh models yearly.

Bullish on India, Bhat stated, “Kia continues to imagine in India’s mid and long run development prospects regardless of the momentary blip in demand now. Our total plans stay because it was earlier.”

Commenting available on the market scenario and the way quickly the corporate expects normalcy to return, Bhat stated, “It is extremely troublesome to foretell. COVID-19 is a once-in-100-years phenomenon and nobody has any prior expertise or knowledge.”

He, nonetheless, stated Kia Motors India expects to do higher than the business.

“We may have a 3rd car coming into our portfolio. Sonet will convey pleasure on the showrooms that may undoubtedly have a rub-off on (gross sales) numbers,” Bhat added.

He stated bookings of the corporate’s autos have reached pre-COVID ranges though the intermittent lockdowns should not serving to, and in addition the present scenario of the economic system has a bearing on the demand aspect.

The corporate is presently working in two-shifts at its plant with month-to-month manufacturing touching “5 digits”.

Final month, Kia Motors India clocked cumulative gross sales of 1 lakh models inside 11 months of launching its first mannequin Seltos in August final yr.