Kia Motors: Positioning and Growth Strategies in India
Kia Motors India (Kia) had tasted success in India within a year of the launch of its product Seltos. Kia's managing director and chief executive officer was quite happy with the sales figures for Seltos, the mid-sized sport utility vehicle (SUV) launched in August 2019, and was fairly confident that Kia's compact SUV Sonet would follow the same path. Kia's positioning strategies had worked very well thus far, and the company had been able to cultivate a brand image of a premium automaker whose products were considered aspirational. However, Kia's competitors seemed to have learned from Kia's success in realizing what worked for Indian consumers and were starting to launch new variants of existing models. In the face of this competitive onslaught and slowing economic growth in India, the chief executive officer had to formulate strategies that would keep Kia's growth trajectory on track. Could his understanding of the dynamics of the SUV segment in India enable him to frame effective positioning and growth strategies that would continue to work for Kia? Nitin Gupta is affiliated with Institute of Management Technology, Hyderabad.