New comers MG Motor and Kia buck the vehicle sales trend as incumbents struggle

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  • MG Motor stopped taking bookings for Hector after the company received 21000 bookings since its 4 June launch
  • Kia Motors – a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Group – got more than 6000 bookings on the first day it started taking bookings for Seltos

At a time when vehicle manufacturers have been struggling to shore to their sales in the domestic market, new entrants, Kia Motors India and MG Motor India, have managed to get a overwhelming response from potential customers.

China’s SAIC-owned British brand Morris Garages has stopped taking bookings after the company received 21000 bookings and is in the process of ramping up its monthly manufacturing capacity.

South Korea’s Kia Motors – a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Group – got more than 6000 bookings on the first day it started taking bookings for its first product Seltos.

Though bookings do not often translate into actual sales, it does give an indication of the customer perception of a certain brand, and the vehicle that is being launched.

Both Kia and MG Motor have decided to launch their vehicles in the premium category of the sport utility vehicle segment which also essentially spares them from competing with the top two vehicle manufacturers- Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Hyundai Motor India ltd.

“Our first product, MG Hector, has received an overwhelming response and we are unable to cater to such high initial demand. We are, therefore, closing bookings temporarily as this will help ensure timely and orderly deliveries to our customers who have shown tremendous confidence in MG,” said Rajeev Chaba, president and managing director, MG Motor India.

MG Motor is expected to ramp up production capacity at its Halol unit in Gujarat to 3000 units per month from September.

According to Manohar Bhatt, vice-president and national head, sales and marketing, Kia Motor India, the overwhelming number of bookings are a testament to Kia’s unparalleled and extraordinary brand recognition and acceptability in the country.

Kia’s Seltos is BS 6 compliant from day one and is available in both petrol and diesel variants. With both manual and automatic options in all powertrains, it makes it an attractive proposition.

“Getting such an overwhelming response from customers across the 160 cities where we are present, makes us elated. We are committed to the Indian market and to delivering the best and class leading products. With our most modern automotive plant having three lakh capacity, we are fully prepared to make on time deliveries and uphold the trust our customers have shown in us,” said Bhatt.

Kia Motors has set up its manufacturing base in Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh and the company will have a total capacity of three lakh units per annum.

Vehicle sales in the Indian market witnessed the sharpest drop in two decades in the April-June quarter of the current financial year. Most manufacturers have cut production significantly to adjust to the subdued retail demand.

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