Replicating top-down approach in EVs as well: Kia India’s Brar
Kia India, which was the fourth-largest carmaker in India in FY2022, is following its top-down approach—which has helped it crack the hitherto enigmatic Indian passenger vehicle market—in the EV segment as well, Hardeep Singh Brar, vice president and head of sales and marketing, Kia India, tells Fortune India.
“The EV6 launch was to not test waters. It is part of our top-down strategy, and purely from a brand-building perspective. The carbuyers should witness the best Kia has in the world so that there is confidence in the brand when we bring in cars in the lower segment in the next few years,” Brar adds.
The Kia EV6 is the South Korean carmaker’s flagship EV, which was launched in India in June. Originally planned for only 100 completely built units (CBUs) this year, Kia India received 350 bookings for the EV6 on the first day.
“Globally, EV6 has a waiting period. We are trying to get more units for India,” he adds. Brar also says that globally, Kia espouses having a battery electric vehicles (BEV) line-up of 14 models by 2027—for which it has invested $22 billion—and some of those models could be heading for Indian roads, possibly in the next four to five years.
Kia is also targeting a 6.6% global EV market share, and a 25% share of its sales from eco-friendly vehicles by the end of 2025. “We are also working on our grounds-up EV, specifically for India, which will be launched in 2025. The EV6 is a precursor to what we have in store, and the strength of our technology,” he says.
Brar has also repudiated the possibility of an electric variant of its highly popular Seltos—a strategy that has made Tata Motors India’s largest maker of electric vehicles. “We want to give the customers the best of everything. Our grounds-up EV will have the best possible solution—where the battery is at the bottom, and the overall centre of gravity comes down; it will also be the best utilisation of space as well,” he says.
He further explains that Seltos was never designed to be a BEV and putting a battery in it will be a stopgap measure. “Even if we convert Seltos into our electric vehicle, it will be an extremely makeshift arrangement, something which we do not want to give our customers.”