Just when automakers began heaving a sigh of relief, India was hit by a second wave of Covid-19 cases. This pushed state governments to enforce lockdowns, which in effect led to a chain reaction within the automobile industry. Most companies had to either scale down production or stop it entirely for a short period of time in April. This obviously leads to automakers losing out on additional units that might have otherwise found buyers. Therefore, some of India’s leading automakers witnessed a decline in their overall sales. Korean marque Kia was no exception to this as it absorbed a 16 percent fall in sales in April 2021.
Back in March 2021, Kia sold 19,100 cars in India. However, given the lockdown situation that kicked in around mid-April, the automaker was only able to sell 16,111 units. While the comparatively lackluster sales did blunt Kia’s growth, the company was the fifth-largest in terms of sales volume in the country in April. The best-selling Kia model in India last month was the Seltos, with 8,086 units sold. This was followed up by the Sonet, totaling 7,724 units, and the flagship Carnival minivan, which sold 301 units. And even though the Seltos doesn’t sell in as great a number as its Hyundai Creta cousin, its permeation grows with each passing month.
At the same time, Kia has been having quite a gala time in India. Just recently, it became the fastest-growing automaker in the country to have surpassed the 2.5-lakh sales milestone. Furthermore, unlike its Hyundai sister company, Kia’s lineup in India consists of just three models. Clearly, the marque has quite a lot more potential and space to expand further in a market that obsesses over SUVs. On the flip side, with the lockdown likely to push deeper into May-end, Kia might continue to face a drop in sales. However, it won’t be the only automaker in India to encounter this mess – others will follow suit.
Kia also went through a rebranding of sorts, where its new cars now boast the brand’s latest logo. While this may not change much when it comes to sales at the end of the day, it does give the company some extra marketing flex. Where it cannot flex much is on the model portfolio front. Then again, for buyers, the fact that there are just three models to choose from can be a blessing as well. The most affordable Kia on sale in India right now is the Sonet. It costs Rs 6.79 Lakh for the entry-level HTE variant, while the top-end GTX+ starts at Rs 12.19 Lakh. Meanwhile, the best-selling Kia Seltos ranges between Rs 9.95 Lakh (for the base HTE) and Rs 16.65 Lakh (for the top-spec GTX+).
The Kia Carnival, on the other hand, is available in up to 5 trim levels. This ranges from the entry-level Premium 7 (that costs Rs 24.95 Lakh) to the fully-loaded Limousine 7VIP (that costs a whopping Rs 33.95 Lakh). Obviously, in a country that is known for crossovers and SUVs, an expensive minivan like the Carnival doesn’t sell all that many units every month. Having said that, April 2021 saw over 300 units of the Carnival being shipped to their respective owners. That is definitely quite a commendable achievement if you ask me.