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Kia Motors – can it change the Indian car market?

India will soon get a new car maker – KIA. This South-Korean manufacturer is basically a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company, which is currently India’s second largest carmaker. However, when Kia enters India, it will operate as an independent company. This means that it will have a different manufacturing plant, a separate dealership network and completely new products.

But why are we telling you about all this stuff? There have been multiple automakers entering the Indian car market. The recent ones include Lexus in the premium price range and Peugeot in the affordable bracket. But none of them got so much attention. However, with Kia’s official announcement of coming to India, we might be on the verge of seeing a significant and revolutionary turn in the Indian passenger vehicle market. Why do we say so? Well, let’s reply this while taking into account Kia’s brand and product positioning in the international markets.

As mentioned earlier, Kia is based out of South Korea. It currently enjoys a market share of 28% in its home country. In addition, the brand is also a prominent market player in the American and European markets. Recently, with the rise in the ASEAN markets, Kia has shown some amazing growth in countries like Vietnam, Thailand and Philippines.

The major reason behind Kia’s success in the recent past is the company’s ability to develop and manufacture high-quality cars, that are then sold at alarmingly competitive prices. The fact that its global portfolio stretches from entry-level hatchbacks to premium crossovers and sedans dictates the company’s strength to read market preferences and develop a diverse range of products.

We all know that in the past one decade, Hyundai has brought a wide range of nice looking cars in India. The company’s new design language is surely one of the best in the Indian market. Can you name one Hyundai car that looks quirky? The answer will mostly be no. And since Kia comes from essentially the same stable, Kia cars across the world are also strikingly good to look at, despite their low prices.

Don’t believe us? Check this out. The below image is of a Kia Morning, which is an entry-level hatchback that competes in the same segment as that of the Maruti Alto, Renault Kwid and Hyundai Eon. It does look great for its price. Doesn’t it?

And then there is the next big factor – features on offer. With a maturing industry, the Indian market is clearly showing an increased interest in more features in a car. Hyundai already offers a lot of features in its cars at all prices. In fact, take any Hyundai car and compare its features with all direct competitors in the same portfolio. You will notice that most Hyundai cars come loaded with much better features than their immediate rivals. Kia too is famous for equipping its cars up to the gills. This means that we can expect some segment-first features from Kia cars in India.

Well, if you look carefully, the aforementioned characteristics that Kia has are a recipe for success in India. Indian customers have already shown that if the product is nice to look at, is loaded with features and comes at a competitive price, it will get a successful welcome in the market. Why do we say this with such confidence? Well, we have proof! Remember the Renault Kwid? It was launched at a time when Renault didn’t have any market presence in the Indian industry. However, thanks to the Kwid, Renault is now the fifth-largest carmaker in the country. This is a testament to the fact that with the right set of products, Kia too can make a mark in the highly competitive Indian car market.

As a result, with Kia’s entrance in India, we might be on the verge of a major change in the country’s car market. If Kia manages to clock some groundbreaking sales figures, the Hyundai-Kia group might also dethrone Maruti Suzuki from the position of country’s largest automaker.

Do you think Kia can be a threat to Maruti Suzuki’s dominance in the Indian car market? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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