Kia Motors' CEO and President - Han-Woo Park, confirms that Kia's next product after Sonet in the Indian market would be a mid-size MPV.
Kia Motors India seems to have got the pandora’s box to win over the Indian market. The carmaker has understood that it is the SUV and MPV segments, which will bring them a lot of customers. On the same note, the carmaker has launched the Seltos and Carnival, and would soon be launching the Sonet. Once the Sonet establishes itself in the market, the carmaker’s next target would be the mid-size MPV space. It is currently ruled by the Maruti Ertiga. However, Kia’s mid-size MPV will be a much more premium offering in the market.
Kia’s mid-size MPV will be underpinned by the same platform as the Seltos. It will also use the same set of engines. With this move, Kia is not planning to introduce monotonicity across their lineup, but instead, they are planning to reduce the overall cost of ownership. According to Mr. Park, it will sit in between the Seltos and the Carnival. His statement does contradict the rumours of a 7-seater Seltos coming around next year.
“As you can see, we have launched the Carnival, and with this, we will develop the luxury MPV segment in the Indian market. I have already got some good response from Indian consumers. We are now thinking about another MPV. As you know, Kia is a very strong SUV and MPV player. So the next one I’m considering is another MPV model for Indian customers,”
Mr. Han-Woo Park, President and CEO, Kia Motors,
Considering the design cues that Kia models have adopted, including for the upcoming Sonet, the MPV will make for one of the most-stylish people-movers on sale in the country. It will offer ample space and seats for 7. And, it would not look as much a van as the Carnival. With the plans of launching the Sonet and the mid-size MPV, Kia believes that the brand would need an additional facility to cater to the market demands. The South-Korean brand is forecasting a demand for 70,000 units of the Sonet in the first year of its launch. For the Ertiga-rivalling MPV, the manufacturer is studying the trend of downsizing and part sharing.
Kia Sonet will be the third product from the brand in the Indian market.
The manufacturer plans to score bigger numbers than the Ertiga, which achieved a sales milestone of 93,077 units in 2019. Renault Triber, on the other hand, is averaging around 4,900 units a month. Mr. Park believes that Triber is developing the target audience for Kia MPV, as the current Triber owners would be planning to upgrade their rides in a few years from now. Serious forecasting efforts from Kia, we would say. However, do not expect this Ertiga rival to launch any time before late 2021.