India has been the hub for auto manufacturing with brands like Maruti, Hyundai and even Mercedes-Benz having local shops in the country. Earlier this week, reports confirmed that Kia Motors is also keen on entering the market with its plant in 2019. India is expected to be the largest car market by 2020.
So, keeping that in mind, it hardly comes as a shock to see that Kia Motors wants to set up its facility in the country, and talks have already taken place.
The Make in India frenzy in the automobile space has always been at another level and with Kia making inroads here, there’s going to be problem of plenty for buyers as well as its rivals. Speaking of which...
Kia is primarily known for its small segment four-wheelers, that falls right in line with Maruti, Hyundai and what Renault offer in the market. Maruti is a numero uno brand, (Alto, WagonR, Swift) followed by Hyundai and then Renault (making headway with the Kwid) and more recently, Datsun with its redi-Go.
But the challenge for Kia will be to live up to its global level, with quality products tailor-made for the local market and backed up with a wholesome experience. It will be worth following if they can manage it.
Food for Thought
As most of you would know, both Kia and Hyundai are part of the same family. Back in 1998, Kia Motors was bought by Hyundai and since then, their existence has been an issue of conflict.
Similar saga could unfold in India, once Kia makes its official bow. Both Hyundai and Kia will have to think over their strategy, so as to make sure that cannibalisation doesn’t end up being a concern.
Hyundai has Eon, i10, i20 and i20 Grand right now, and if Kia rolls out its entry-level models here, consumers will find it hard to choose between brands, both with the same set of products.
The company is said to be the 5th largest car maker in the world. That’s a big enough incentive for the it to sort their internal issues out.
Considering that both Hyundai and Kia will get to service more than 5 million buyers in India by 2020, they really need to find a way for both brands to succeed.