History has proved since ages that we Indian do love new things. And when it comes to cars, the interest is no different. This was evident when last year, two carmakers entered the arena. I am talking about Kia Motors and MG Motor. Both the companies came in at a time when the automotive market was struggling from one of the worst slumps in history. The year 2019 saw a decline in sales and the pressure of BS6 emission norms closing in. Kia entered the market with the Seltos SUV in June 2019. But how did the Korean carmaker plan to come to India? Let’s dive a bit deeper into the history.
The Unknown or maybe Known History!
All of us are familiar with the name, Hyundai. Well, what you might not be familiar with is the connection between Hyundai and Kia. Back in 2007, Kia declared bankruptcy and Hyundai bought in 33.88% of shares in Kia. Thus after the companies were linked to each other, the markets where Hyundai was performing well were also thought for Kia. One such market where Hyundai is the second-largest carmaker, only after Maruti Suzuki, is India.
Kia decided to set up a facility in Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh and started testing the made-in-India car on the Indian roads. As the company was watching the market very closely, it decided to launch an SUV first. The SUV segment has been the most popular in India and was predominated by Tata and Mahindra.
Kia Seltos Unveiled!
On June 20, 2019, Kia unveiled its first-ever car in India, the Seltos. The signature tiger-nose grille paved its way to India with this SUV. Tiger Shroff was chosen as the brand ambassador of the Seltos. Experts were not sure that the Seltos will do wonders as the market was already brought down to its knees due to the worst-ever slump. But Kia Seltos brought a storm to the market.
August 2019 – The SUV is launched!
The Kia Seltos was finally launched in August 2019, 2 months after the reveal. The company was overwhelmed by the response of the Indian customers. Within 4 months of launch, the company sold 40,000 units of Seltos. This is a huge number while keeping in mind this was the first time for the company. But this was just the beginning.
2020 – The Year Of Advent
As the company was not ready earlier for catering the response, the deliveries were getting delayed. The company then decided to ramp up the production process and the delivery time was reduced to 15 days by the time the second lot was coming out.
In the meanwhile, the popularity of the SUV was getting better and better month by month. By March 2020, Kia Seltos became the best selling SUV of the month. Kia sold over 7,000 units of the Seltos. Note that by the mid-March, most of the country was in a state of lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. To give you a hint, MG sold 1,402 units of the Hector only. Kia Seltos has been in the top charts since the beginning of 2020.
You can have a look at the detailed reports:
Once, you have a look at the sales reports, you will get to know, that month by month Kia Seltos has risen towards the top position. But what has made the Seltos so popular in India?
Kia Seltos | Let’s know the SUV inside-out
The SUV has got a minimalistic design, powerful engines and a load of features which made the consumers go mad for the SUV. People were ready to wait to get one. But the most important point in the sales was aggressive pricing.
Kia Seltos has a starting price of ₹9.89lakhs putting it up against rivals MG Hector, Hyundai Creta and Volkswagen Taigun. But all of these are either costlier or lack features that are offered by Seltos. Hyundai Creta 2020 recently launched might give a stiff competition to the SUV, but that, time will tell.
Coming back to Seltos, it has got three engine options:
- 1.4-litre Turbo GDI petrol unit (138hp with 242 Nm of torque)
- 1.5-litre petrol Naturally aspirated petrol unit (113 hp with 144Nm of torque)
- 1.5-litre VGT diesel unit ( 113hp with 250Nm of torque)
All the engines are BS6 compliant. For the transmission duties, the company has chosen a 6-speed manual gearbox, a 7-speed DCT or a 6-speed AT.
On the outside, the Kia Seltos also has a lot to offer and looks pretty aggressive with its symbolic tiger-nose front grille and other features such as LED headlamps, LED DRLs, LED fog lamps, LED taillights and dual exhaust.
Coming to the inside, we get a first in segment 8-inch HUD (Heads Up Display), 8-speaker Bose sound system,10.25-inch touchscreen AVN system, ventilated and power seats, multifunction steering wheel, eco coating, smart pure air and ambient mood lighting.
There are a total 18 variants offered with the Seltos. You can check them here.
Kia Seltos: The Success Story
Well, this much to offer, Kia Seltos surely does make a statement to be the best in the segment. With the overwhelming response Kia received from Seltos, the company became confident enough to launch their next offering, Carnival. The MPV is also making a great mark in terms of sales. Kia has also announced that it will be bringing a new car every 6 months to India. Next expected car is the Kia Sonet, the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza rival that will surely jolt the market same way as the Seltos.
What does this tell us about the Indian Market?
Companies such as Kia and MG have shown that the Indian market is an investment-worthy market and many other players such as Haval and Haima are also planning to enter India soon. These companies have shown that Indians do love innovation. Now Indians are being offered choices in market and there is no one company with the monopoly over the others. What are your thoughts about Kia Seltos SUV? Is it really that good or just another gimmick? Let us know in the comments section below.