Kia’s 2 new model launches in 2019 – Telluride & Seltos proved to be game changers for Kia Motors globally!
Kia Motors launched the mid-size crossover Telluride in the American market on February 2019 and garnered humongous success since launch. The Telluride is the largest vehicle Kia has ever produced for the United States. Telluride is offered with 291-horsepower, 3.8L Lambda II gasoline V6 engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and either front-wheel-drive (FWD) or “Dynamax” all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. Kia was able to sell 58,604 units in 2019 in the US market and even as on date the demand is much higher than supply for the model. It helped Kia register a 4.4% growth in 2019 v/s 2018 even though majority of other models saw a dip.
Kia’s Telluride has earned multiple awards worldwide and was the first model from Kia’s portfolio to earn the ‘World Car of the Year’ title! It also bagged 2020 North American Car of the Year, Motor Trend S20 of the Year 2020, and Car & Driver 2020 10 Best. In the first year of launch; Telluride contributed to almost 10% of Kia’s US volumes! Kia is now set to manufacture 1 Lakh Tellurides in 2020 owing to high demand. Also note that Kia US contributes to almost 21% of Kia’s global volumes and is the biggest market for Kia.
With sales dipping in the world’s biggest market (China); Kia has shifted focus on emerging markets such as India to maintain growth. 2019 was a tough year for Hyundai Motor Group (which owns Hyundai & Kia). HMG turned in their lowest sales in seven years in 2019, missing their target for a fifth straight time! Hyundai and Kia combined reported a 3 percent drop in their combined global sales to 7.19 million vehicles for 2019, falling short of their target to sell 7.6 million vehicles. Their sales have dipped in China, the world’s biggest auto market, offsetting a recovery in the United States where demand for the newly launched Telluride and a favorable currency exchange rate helped.
Another big launch from Kia’s stable in 2019 was Seltos! The Seltos was launched in South Korea on July 18, 2019, India on August 22, 2019 and in the Philippines on November 6, 2019, with a release in various global markets except Europe by the end of 2019. Seltos was Kia’s first model in the Indian subcontinent and it gave an exemplary launch for the brand. India emerged as the biggest market for Seltos globally and outdid even the sales in home market!Calendar YearSouth KoreaIndiaChinaAustralia201932,00145,4947,4142,048
Kia sold 45,494 units in India; which was way higher than sales in the South Korean market (32,001 units). Even Seltos bagged multiple awards – Autocar Car of the Year, Tech & Auto SUV of the year, Otomotif Best Low SUV (Indonesia), Team-BHP Car of the Year, AutoX Best of 2019 and many more.
To highlight Seltos’s success in India – Even at an average of 9k units / month it’ll sell 1.08 Lakhs in the entire year which shall be higher than the Best Selling Kia in US (Soul sold 98k units)! Also with a sole model; Kia garnered market share of 1.5% in the Indian market for 2019 (that too with 5 months of operation). The response has now made Kia to look for a second plant! The current plant in Ananthapur (Andhra Pradesh) already has a production capacity of 3 Lakh units per annum. Kia Motors India registered a sale of 85,171 units in FY2020 and contributed to over 13% of Kia’s global volumes in FY20!
Passenger Vehicle sales will be strained in 2020 owing to covid outbreak and will be a survival of the fittest. And fittest would be those OEMs who shall bring new models as per the market requirement.