Udayavni Special

Kia Motors aims rural, small towns to further cement position in Indian market


PTI, Dec 13, 2020, 4:57 PM IST

New Delhi: South Korean automaker Kia Motors aims to expand its sales network in smaller towns and rural areas as it looks to scale up its presence across the country, according to a senior company official.

The company, which has achieved success in India with models like Seltos and Sonet, is also focussing on enhancing the profitability of its dealer partners.

“We are expanding our network and are aiming to reach 300 touchpoints by the end of this year and will now focus on expansion in tier-IV and upcountry markets which will help us further penetrate deeper in the Indian market,” Tae-Jin Park, executive director and chief sales officer of Kia Motors India, said.

The automaker has received tremendous demand for models from all across the country and therefore, it wants to be present even in the remotest of locations, he noted.

“Along with focussing on reach, we also have to take into account our dealer partner profitability and, hence, both these will be the key elements driving our strategy for the next 2-3 years,” Park said.

He added that the company entered India with an aim to be accessible and available for the entire nation.

“We understand that consumer’s proximity to the brand is one of the key factors in the vehicle buying journey. Therefore, even before we launched our first product in the market, we ensured that we have a wide-spread network of 265 touchpoints across 160 cities, the highest for any new entrant,” Park said.

Even with the current set of sales outlets, the company has been able to cater to a wide set of customers across the country, he added.

“Now, our primary focus is to go deeper into the market and expand further in tier-IV and upcountry cities/towns. India has a lot of potential as there are only 22 cars per 1,000 individuals in the country,” Park said.

There are a lot of Kia fans in smaller towns and villages and the company does not want them to travel miles to purchase or service their cars, he said.

Park said the company has also initiated several measures to cater to sales and aftersales requirements of the customers.

Kia Motors has set up dedicated skill enhancement and training centres to ensure that each and every company representative is well-equipped to address customer needs, he added.

The company runs such centres in Faridabad, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.

The automaker has also initiated a complete contactless and paperless after-sales process, Park said.

“Since our entry into India, we have focused on observing the market carefully and have evolved according to the changing consumer trends. Customer feedback is an important aspect for us and we regularly connect with the existing and potential customers to understand their views on our existing products and services to enhance them as per their needs and preferences,” he added.

Similarly, the company tries to incorporate all the major feedback it receives from time to time regarding the products, Park said.

“Some of the recent examples are the introduction of the sunroof in the lower trims, and all-black interiors in the GT line of refreshed Seltos to name a few,” he added.

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