Despite the terrible impact of the Covid virus in India, it remains a superpower economy, with over 1.3 billion people. There is a rapidly growing automotive, insurtech and sustainable transport sector too and these strands of activity intersect and crossover at many points. The investment is there and the national regulator, IRDAI, has taken action recently in areas like the insurtech sandbox, plus relaxed regulation on overseas insurer investment stakes and much more.
The country is moving away from petrol and diesel vehicles and that could well have a benefit when it comes to defeating respiratory diseases like Covid, or subsequent variants. Electric cars are within reach of India’s growing middle class and electric motorcycles and scooters may well replace many of the urban delivery bikes in the next 5 years as cities battle to ease congestion and improve air quality. The opportunities are there for on-demand, PAYG insurtech innovators to replace India’s traditional products, which are generally sold by local insurance agents.
Kia wants to expand in this market. It’s aiming to boost production at its state-of-art manufacturing facility in Anantapur, in a move to facilitate faster production and delivery of its vehicles, plus introduce connected car tech to the Indian market.
As part of India’s growth strategy with the new identity, Kia will be constantly innovating to match the ever-changing needs of the new-age consumers. The refreshed versions of its flagship products, the versatile compact SUV Seltos and the subcompact crossover SUV Sonet, will be a testament to this commitment. Kia is also looking at sustaining its connected cars leadership by adding new features. To strengthen its reach, Kia is expanding its strong network to 360 touch points covering 218 cities including tier-3 and select tier-4 towns by the end of this year.
Mr. Tae-Jin Park, Executive Director and Chief Sales and Business Strategy Officer, Kia India, said, “Under the new brand slogan, Kia will focus on offering meaningful experiences to the customers, especially focused on the millennials and Gen-Z – the future of the country. With Kia’s new brand identity and our refreshed portfolio, we are extremely elated to have a purpose-driven business that will elevate the customer experience not just in terms of the features and connectivity inside the cars, but the overall engagement experience with our brand.”
HERO PLANS BATTERY SWAP
One of the big names in two-wheelers in India, Hero recently announced a deal with Gogoro to set-up an electric motorcycle battery swap network. The big four Japanese manufacturers also agreed earlier in 2021 to fit a stadard swappable battery pack to their various EV commuter machines. By making electric bikes more practical in terms of range, and affordable by sharing common parts, the Indian delivery market will be able to rapidly phase out smoky two-strokes and switch to electric – at least in major cities.