Kia Motors India is currently the fourth largest automaker in the country courtesy of Seltos and Sonet SUVs
The Indian automotive industry has become immensely competitive especially through the decade. We have witnessed many globally acclaimed companies exiting the country after years of presence while quite a few have made their mark with good strategic excellence. Nissan Motor revived the Datsun brand in India with a hope to gain volumes in the emerging markets.
In its early stages, the Japanese brand posted good sales tally courtesy of its mass market appealing lineup. However, as the years went by, the Redi Go, Go and Go Plus maker could not sustain its momentum and the Magnite was initially expected to carry the Datsun instead. With Nissan having only the Kicks mid-size SUV in its existing portfolio, the compact SUV was launched under its own brand.
Isuzu entered the domestic market with an aim to popularize pickup trucks in the lifestyle space. But, it could not endure as big a success as in the Southeast Asian markets and the next generation MU-X is expected to launch sometime next year in India. With FCA’s local business taking a downturn, it relied on the oncoming Jeep brand for sustainability in 2016.
The arrival of the Compass did prove to be a game changer but the lack of new products has hurt the sales. The facelifted Compass is getting introduced in a week’s time while a sub-four-metre SUV and a three-row UV based on the Compass are in the pipeline as well. MG Motor India romped onto the scenes last year with the Hector before the ZS EV, Hector Plus and more recently Gloster.
The SAIC-owned British carmaker has made an impact in the premium SUV space with connective technologies and is priming to launch the petrol version of the regular ZS and the seven-seater Hector is also coming. Amongst the five, none has made as big an impact as Kia Motors India. It is currently the fourth largest selling car manufacturer in the country with only three products in its portfolio.
Kia debuted with the Seltos mid-size SUV and headed the sales charts in a whisker and it was followed by the Carnival premium MPV in three variants at the 2020 Auto Expo. Just a few months ago, the South Korean brand launched the Sonet compact SUV and it has attained the segment leading status as well.