Kia Seltos likely to go hybrid as early as 2025. Check details

The next gen Kia Seltos is likely to use the 1.6-litre hybrid powertrain from the similarly-sized models like Kia Niro SUV, as well as the Hyundai Kon
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Kia Seltos
Kia Seltos is likely to go hybrid by 2025
Kia Seltos
Kia Seltos is likely to go hybrid by 2025

Kia Motors is gearing up to introduce a hybrid version of its popular Seltos SUV as part of its next-generation lineup, expected to debut in 2025. This strategic decision, as reported by The Korea Economic Daily, signals a shift in focus for the Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis group, which had been aggressively pushing electric vehicles (EVs) but is now expanding its hybrid model range due to a slowdown in EV sales.

The upcoming Seltos hybrid, slated for the "third generation" model, is likely to adopt the 1.6-liter hybrid powertrain from the Kia Niro and Hyundai Kona Hybrid. These models, sharing Hyundai and Kia's latest small-car underpinnings, are known for their efficiency and performance, promising a compelling hybrid offering in the competitive SUV segment.

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Interestingly, during the unveiling of the updated Seltos last year, Kia India had emphasised that hybrids were for companies without clear EV plans, suggesting that its EV strategy would take precedence starting from 2025. However, the company's recent confirmation of openness to introducing hybrid models reflects a strategic shift in response to market dynamics.

Kia India’s decision is also influenced by market research, which indicates that hybrid penetration in the mass market segment in India is has grown to 2.5 per cent. Further, with potential changes in emission norms in India, the company sees an opportunity for hybrids models to grow, prompting the Korean automaker to introduce these models at the opportune moment.

Hyundai and Kia's renewed interest in hybrids aligns with the growing popularity of these vehicles, particularly in the United States. While EV sales have gone down, hybrids have seen significant growth, with Kia experiencing a 51 per cent year-on-year increase in hybrid car sales in the US in January 2024, and Hyundai's plug-in hybrid car sales rising by 41 per cent.

The decision to introduce a hybrid Seltos supports Kia's efforts to offer a diverse range of eco-friendly vehicles to cater to varying customer preferences and market conditions.

First Published Date: 22 Feb 2024, 09:25 AM IST
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