Kia India aims to garner 40% of overall sales this year from iMT trims

  • Kia India's entry-level trims, which come with a 1.5-litre petrol engine, would continue to feature manual transmission.
File photo of Kia Seltos
File photo of Kia Seltos

Kia India aims to garner 40 per cent of its overall sales this year from cars with an intelligent manual transmission (iMT) as demand for automatic vehicles continues to grow in the domestic market. The automaker is replacing manual transmission with intelligent manual transmission (iMT) in turbo petrol and diesel trims of Seltos, Carens and Sonet.

In 2020, the company sold 1.35 lakh units, out of which iMT contribution stood at 7% whereas last year, out of around 2.5 lakh units sold, iMT contributed 30,000 units. “We have got confidence from growing consumers' preference for the iMT technology and thus we decided to bring iMT to all diesel and turbo petrol cars," Kia India National Head- Sales and Marketing - Hardeep Singh Brar said.

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However, the company's entry-level trims, which come with a 1.5-litre petrol engine, would continue to feature the manual transmission in order to cater to those who are price-conscious. Brar added that while there is pent-up demand for automatic cars, customers do not opt it at the cost of affordability.

Though shifting from manual to automatic transmission involves a significant rise in price, that is not the case with iMT. "We, at Kia, foresee a 40 per cent contribution from iMT in 2023 calendar year," Brar stated.

Talking about sales forecast, Kia expects 10 per cent sales growth this year, which is almost double of the anticipated industry growth. The company's sales had grown by 35 per cent in 2022 as compared with 2021. "Last two years, the industry has bounced back and our outlook is strong but there are headwinds which are impacting like increased interest rates and economic issues globally which were not there earlier," Brar said.

First Published Date: 02 Apr 2023, 12:00 PM IST
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