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Kia Motors to enter Indian car market

NEW DELHI

All set to make its entry in the Indian passenger vehicle (PV) market next year, Korean automaker Kia Motors on Tuesday said it will have the largest dealership network for a foreign player that has ever entered the domestic market. Without specifying on the number of dealerships it will have when its first offering — a compact SUV — would hit Indian roads, Manohar Bhat, head (sales & marketing group), said that Kia showrooms won’t be far away from buyers’ reach.

“For a newcomer to succeed in India, it needs to have an extensive reach. We will have dealer showrooms and after-sales network in good number in urban and semi-urban centres and that include tier-III and tier-IV cities as well. We will be there in most of the states,” Bhat said. The company has already held road shows for prospective dealers in a number of cities.

The Korean company, which is also the eighth largest automaker in the world, is likely to enter the domestic market in the second half of next year with a compact SUV that will compete against Renault’s Duster and its sister concern’s (Hyundai) Creta.

It has kept an ambitious target of being in the list of top five players in the domestic market within three years of launch.

“Kia has a lot of experience in the global market with presence in 180 countries. Our target is based on our experience, and (it’s) not just a dream target,” said Kia Motors India CEO and MD Kookhyun Shim.
Having made an investment of `6,500 crore in its Andhra Pradesh facility that can roll out 3,00,000 units per annum, Kia Motors will launch one model every six months from mid-2019.  The company, however, has no plans to launch compact cars as of now and will enter the segment when it feels it needs to up its volume.

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