The Situation in India

2020 Hyundai Creta Launch
If it weren’t for Kia, Hyundai would not be willing to experiment

Hyundai holds a very different position in India as a manufacturer. They are only second to Maruti Suzuki, and are in no need to pushing their brand to the audience, as they are very well known here. But still the same strategy has found its way to India. But now that Kia is also here, they are seeming to open up a bit. Which is quite nice to see. Now I am not claiming that they are indeed ready to experiment because of Kia. This is the Creta that is sold internationally from the outside. But in general, these developments have occurred around the arrival of Kia in our market.

Let’s say you are in the market for an SUV in the Rs. 12-15 lakh range. You really like the Hyundai Creta, but are not a fan of the way it looks. Your other immediate choice would most likely be the Kia Seltos. Both cars get the same platform, engines, and Bose sound system. But the Creta gets a panoramic sunroof which the Kia does not. These cars have very different approaches to the exterior and interior. The Kia Seltos is a very solid car that does not take many risks. On the other hand Hyundai, with their Creta, and Venue are pushing a very different form factor. Again, even if the market does not receive this design very well, not all is lost.

Take a look at the Kia Sonet Concept showcased in the 2020 concept. Nothing crazy about that design. Even as a concept it looked pretty production ready. So once more, for people who do not like the way the Venue looks, Kia has a more mainstream version that will cater to a different set of audience. This is not something that only Hyundai-Kia-Genesis is doing. GM for example in the US has both Chevrolet and GMC making pickup trucks with radical and conservative approaches. But this particular example holds the most relevance to our market.

Kia Sonet 3
The upcoming Kia Sonet shares its platform and mechanicals with the Venue