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Unscathed: Pent-up demand more sustained, predictable now, says Kia India (IANS Special)

New Delhi, Oct 3 (IANS) Emerging almost unscathed from the Covid impact, automobile major Kia Motors India sees the pent-up demand becoming more sustained and predictable now, which is expect to drive growth.

In a conversation with IANS, the company’s Vice President and Head Sales and Marketing Manohar Bhat said: “Kia has been in India for a year now and in this duration, we have closely observed the functioning of the Indian market. Although it is a very short time period to exactly predict the demand.”

“We are learning from our experiences every day and I can say that pent-up demand is now more sustained and predictable than when we started.”

The company’s performance can by gauged from its September sales numbers. It registered the highest-ever domestic sales since entry into the Indian market, with 18,676 units in September 2020.

The biggest contributor in the company’s sales was its recently launched compact SUV Sonet which recorded 9,266 unit sales in just 12 days.

“Till now, we have received almost 35,000 bookings. With a strong product like Sonet, we were expecting such feedback from the Indian consumers,” he said.

Kia’s first product for India, the Seltos recorded 9,079 unit sales.

“Due to Covid-19, various industries and businesses have been witnessing a slowdown period and have been adversely affected in the last few months. However, post zero sales in the month of April; we have witnessed a shift towards revival and recovery in the automobile industry,” he elaborated.

“With an increase in sales and demand of our products, we have now observed a steady month on month growth with our existing range of products.”

Similarly, in August, the company had registered healthy sales figure. It had sold 10,845 units which represented 74 per cent YoY growth along with 1 lakh unit sales of Seltos in less than a year’s time.

In July, Kia became the fastest automaker in India to reach the historic milestone of 1 lakh cumulative sales with two products Seltos and Carnival in just eleven months since its first car debuted in the country.

“The automobile industry is on a revival phase from a few months now where we have seen a surge in sales numbers across brands. At Kia Motors India, we have had good momentum for a few months and are moving towards a quick recovery in the industry,” Bhat said.

“With our three strong product offerings, we are optimistic about driving further growth for the brand.”

According to Bhat, the company is hopeful of receiving healthy customer response during the festive season.

“We are entering into the festive season phase, which is considered as the ‘thirteenth month’ of sales. The festive season has always been a very important time across industries, as the consumer sentiment during this time is generally very positive. Especially in the automotive industry, we witness a more than usual surge in demand during this time,” he explained.

“We are also looking at an activity with Seltos during this festive period which will be backed by a full thrust marketing plan.”

Not just sales but even production has picked up for the automobile manufacturer.

The company had resumed operations at its manufacturing plant in Anantapur on May 8, 2020.

“Owing to the rising demand for Kia Cars, we have started operating at a double shift. The majority of our sales and supply channel is on track now which has made the operations smoother,” he added.

(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at [email protected])




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