Goa: South Korean auto major Kia Motors is looking to export its made-in-India mid-sized SUV Seltos to various global markets including Africa and South America.
The company, which has set up its manufacturing base in Andhra Pradesh with an installed production capacity of 3 lakh units, will roll out the model in India later this month. “We are looking at regions like South Africa, South America and South Asian countries for exporting Seltos. But it is going to be a small number as our main focus remains India,” Kia Motors India Head Marketing and Sales Manohar Bhat told reporters here.
Other markets like Europe and North America would be catered from the South Korean plant, he added. Kia Motors India has already started production of Seltos at its Anantapur-based facility.
The company is initially looking to begin with a production capacity of one lakh units per annum and then gradually ramp it up to three lakh units per annum.
“We have started with a single shift… With another model launch expected over the next six months, our aim is to utilise full capacity (one lakh units) as soon as possible. After that, we may also scale it up to two lakh units,” Bhat said.
The company has already received around 23,000 bookings for Seltos, he added. When asked about the the second model, Bhat said, “Most probably it is going to be a multi purpose vehicle (MPV)”.He added that there is no plan to launch a compact segment
On prolonged slowdown in the domestic market, he said the government should look at reducing goods and services tax (GST) rates on automobiles and also initiate vehicle scrappage policy.
He said in order to help provide finance options to Seltos customers and its dealers, the company has already tied up with eight banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).
When asked about launching electric vehicles in the country, Bhat said Kia has the technology to introduce all kinds of vehicles including hybrids and pure electric models.
“Depending on market requirements, we can introduce any of such technologies here,” he added. Bhat also confirmed that the company would keep on selling diesel models beyond April, 2020, as well.
“We already have diesel engine that is BS VI compliant. So we don’t have an issue regarding that. We feel the demand for diesel vehicles would be there and we will keep offering what the customer demands,” Bhat said.