kia: Kia lines up Carens MPV to take on Innova, Alcazar
Tae-Jin Park, managing director and CEO of Kia in India, said demand remains robust and the company is now expanding its annual production capacity from the current three lakh units to four lakh units. The expansion comes even as concerns about semiconductor shortages have resulted in long wait times for many models, including Kia’s Seltos and Sonet SUVs.
âWe are improving our production capacity with new equipment and a new assembly line as we go up to four lakh units per year,â Park told TOI, noting that the company will continue to invest in India. “Our current investments are approximately $ 1.2 billion, and we are now expanding rapidly.”
Speaking of the Carens 3-row minivan – which will be available in petrol and diesel options, he said it will launch in the first quarter of 2022. It will be the company’s fourth vehicle in the stable, and is based on a version of the Seltos platform.
Park said Kia – a sister company to Hyundai – had learned from the launch of the Carnival minivan, which hadn’t seen any aggressive buys unlike its other two SUV siblings. “We will look more carefully at the needs of the market and we will seek an acceptable price, a reasonable price.”
Speaking about the electric car projects, he said India will get green cars from Kia’s next global model line. “We are looking at the platforms … and the cars would then be made locally.” Kia, which has a backlog of around 75,000 cars due to the semiconductor shortage, expects to sell around 2.3 lakh of cars in 2021. Park forecast 30% growth for 2022.
Kia, while growing rapidly at the start of its entry into India, faces intense competition not only from compatriot Hyundai, but even from other players such as local players Tata Motors and Mahindra.