‘Customer is key’ : The Tribune India

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‘Customer is key’

‘Customer is key’

Having commenced mass production in 2019, Kia India recently completed over 1.1 million vehicle dispatches from its Anantapur plant (Andhra Pradesh), including more than 8.6 lakh domestic sales.



Having commenced mass production in 2019, Kia India recently completed over 1.1 million vehicle dispatches from its Anantapur plant (Andhra Pradesh), including more than 8.6 lakh domestic sales. Vijay C Roy talks to Hardeep Singh Brar, national head for sales and marketing, Kia India.

India is the one of the largest markets for Kia globally. What is your market share?

Currently, it is near about 6 per cent.

The Sonet facelift is the third global premiere you had in India after Sonet and Seltos. Why India?

If you talk about the US and China, big cars and SUVs are sold. Compact and mid-size SUVs are popular in India. If we compare the volumes, India sells more than these two countries. This is the biggest market so the global premiere has to happen in India.

Hardeep Singh Brar

Our EV strategy is clear

Three EV and three ICE (internal combustion engine) models are confirmed for 2025. We may have a few more. Hardeep Singh Brar

The government is planning to phase out diesel-run vehicles. How do you see their future in India?

We go by consumer demand and anticipate a consistent demand for diesel-powered vehicles, especially in smaller cities. Also, for individuals with longer commutes, fuel efficiency will not be better than diesel. In the recent past, there has been a decline in demand for diesel vehicles so we reduced our production. But for vehicles costing above Rs 10 lakh, the demand for the diesel variant is impressive and constitutes 40-50 per cent.

Any plans to launch CNG models?

We already have diesel and petrol engines. People buy a CNG vehicle because of fuel efficiency. We think that CNG is not viable everywhere, especially in smaller cities, as there are no CNG stations. Also, we received feedback from customers that the cylinder kills the space, makes the vehicle heavy, putting additional pressure on suspension, and that the pickup of a CNG vehicle is lesser than that of the petrol version.

What about hybrid vehicles?

Those manufacturers are introducing hybrid where the EV strategy is not clear. Our EV strategy is clear. We will introduce it as per the plan. In my opinion, hybrid is a makeshift arrangement. In a hybrid vehicle, boot space and pick-up issues persist. So, we will straightaway focus on EV vehicles. Still, we are evaluating options.

Are you contemplating to launch hatchback and sedans?

Hatchback and sedans are on a declining trend. Around 10 years back, the share of hatchback and sedans was 65 per cent and now it has reduced to less than 30. The growth is coming from SUVs. 

#Andhra Pradesh


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