Priority on utilising full manufacturing capacity, says Kia Motors

Nandana James Mumbai | Updated on August 23, 2019 Published on August 23, 2019

Kia Seltos

Kia Motors’ priority will be ensuring that its manufacturing plant’s capacity of 3,00,000 units per annum is fully utilised as soon as possible, said Manohar Bhat, Vice President and Head - Sales and Marketing, Kia Motors. The company will also be launching one product every six months, he said.

The South Korean automaker has its manufacturing plant in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, which has an annual production capacity of 3,00,000 units. Kia Motors launched Seltos, its first product in India, on Thursday.

“We have a 3 lakh capacity (at the Anantapur plant) and we intent to go to a second shift also very quickly so that we can meet the demand and make sure that our customer does not have to wait for long...My goal is to make sure that my plant capacity of 300000 is fulfilled and completed as soon as possible,” Bhat told BusinessLine. He said that the company’s first concern would be to make sure the customers get the vehicles as soon as possible, with a minimum waiting period.

The Seltos is a locally manufactured and BS-6 compliant mid-size SUV, available at a price range of Rs 9.69 lakh to Rs 15.99 lakh (ex-showroom). Kia Motors has received 32035 bookings for the Seltos so far. It had garnered 6,046 bookings on the first day itself. The Seltos marks the debut of the South Korean auto major in India.

Bhat said that Kia Motors is following a “methodical and text-book” approach of going after the four Ps in sales and marketing management: product, place (network), promotion and price. He said that many of Seltos features are such that those features are not seen in luxury cars even. The Seltos is available at 265 customer touchpoints across 160 cities. With an aim to tackle the apprehensions customers may have about a new car company’s services, the company has set up service touch points in 160 cities too. He also drew attention to its advertising campaigns specifically aimed at its Indian consumers, as well the “attractive pricing” of Seltos, which is available at a starting price of Rs 9.69 lakh.

The automobile industry in the country is undergoing one of its worst and prolonged slowdowns ever, with sales in passenger vehicles having plummeted every month in the past year, barring October. On the company’s strategy to tide over this degrowth, Bhat said the focus of the company is to make available products based on customer preferences, adding that currently, its first task is to ensure quick delivery.

Bhat said that the company believes in the future of the Indian market and its automobile sector and that it is looking at its long term potential, pointing out how Kia Motors has invested $ 1.1 billion in Anantapur plant. Bhat said that Kia Motors’ products, pricing and bookings will help the company at a time like this when the auto sector is privy to a prolonged downturn.

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Published on August 23, 2019
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