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Kia foresees continued growth, terms 2021 critical (IANS Special)

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New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) The year 2021 is extremely critical for Kia in India as the automobile manufacturer expects a more conducive business environment fuelled by recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a conversation with IANS, Kia Motors India’s Executive Director and Chief Sales and Business Strategy Officer Tae-Jin Park said that the immediate goal for the company is to sustain the “brand love by catering to the exceeding demand” for its vehicles.

“This year, we are optimistic about further boosting our sales… We aim to produce around 2,30,000–2,50,000 units this year which will cater to domestic and export markets,” he said.

“We are bullish about expanding our network in the country so that the Kia brand becomes more accessible. We are also looking at initiating the third shift in our state-of-art facility at Anantapur, to cater to increasing demand for Kia vehicles.”

In January, Kia became the fastest car manufacturer in India to achieve the two lakh sales mark, hitting it within just 17 months of starting operations in the country.

The company recorded a sales figure of 100,000 units in July 2020, and subsequently, the brand registered the second off-take of 100,000 units within a record six months time.

However, high demand, and a global shortage of components increased the waiting period for the company’s vehicles such as Sonet and Seltos.

“We have received an overwhelming response for all our products and we have observed that the demand has been increasing consistently post the ease in lockdown restrictions.

“We have almost achieved our initial aim of achieving the full capacity of 300,000 units at our manufacturing plant, and we plan to produce 230,000 – 250,000 vehicles in 2021, including exports,” Park said.

On the global supply chain disruptions, he said the industry should focus on further strengthening the domestic components sector.

“With the support of our local vendor partners, we will be able to achieve this and as a result, we could see strong revival of supply chain here, which will benefit the entire auto industry in the long run.”

“We are doing our best to ensure that such challenges do not have a major impact on our deliveries to customers, but issues like these may delay product launches for all manufacturers.”

In addition, Park said that people are getting back to the old normal gradually.

“However, they will be cautious about their surroundings and maintaining social distance.

“People would refrain from commuting in public transports or shared mobility and the need for safe personal mobility will continue to drive growth in PV sales and pave the recovery path for the auto industry in the coming months.”

(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at rohit.v@ians.in)

–IANS

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