The Kia Sonet is proving to be so popular that select variants of sub-compact SUV have a waiting period extending up to 2 months and Kia Motors is now evaluating addition of a third shift at their Anantapur facility to keep up with demand.
Just like the Seltos, the Kia Sonet has had a great start in the Indian market and Kia Motors is now perhaps getting used to the popularity they are enjoying in the Indian market. In just the first month of its launch, the Sonet has already clocked sales of 9,266 units. Even before its launch, the Sonet had already secured a good number of pre-bookings. Great looks and features coupled with a wide range of powertrain options and very attractive pricing, the Sonet is already a winner. In fact, its proving to be so popular that some variants of the Sonet now have waiting periods extending up to as much as 2 months.
Kia Motors is now thus contemplating the addition of a third shift at their Anantapur facility in Andhra Pradesh if demand for the Sonet continues to be persistent. Kia Motors did something similar with the Seltos, expanding to their second shift when bookings for the Seltos were increasing rapidly. Currently, operating in two shifts, the plant has a capacity of producing 2 lakh vehicles per year. With a third shift, the production capacity will increase to 3 lakh vehicles per year. In September 2020 alone, Kia sold over 18,000 units of vehicles combining all their three products. Right since their debut, they have consistently been among top-five automakers in the country.
In an interview with TOI, Mr Manohar Bhat, the Vice-President & Head Marketing and Sales at Kia Motors said, “We will do it depending on the demand. We were very quick to start second shift last year with bookings for Seltos increasing. we would like to have the third shift as our dream is to make sure that our entire capacity is fully utilized. It is a very difficult time to run a factory during COVID times as our facilities are linked to so many vendor factories and each one of them is grappling with the COVID thing. It is very difficult. It is not only about our own capacity alone but it also depends on the suppliers. Even for an example, a nut gets delayed then the entire vehicle is delayed. So, we depend on vendors also ramping up at the same time to be able to start the third shift and increase the production. So, we will do it at some point in time but when is that time would depend on vendors as well.“
To give you a quick recap about the powertrain options on the Sonet, there are three engines and five gearbox options on offer. First, there’s the familiar 1.2L, naturally aspirated petrol engine that produces 83bhp and 115Nm of torque. This engine comes mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Then there’s the 1.0L turbo-petrol engine that produces 120hp and 172Nm of torque and this comes mated to either the 6-speed iMT gearbox or a 7-speed DCT gearbox. Lastly, the 1.5L diesel engine comes in two specs of tune – 115hp/250Nm mated to a 6-speed AT or 100hp/240Nm mated to a 6-speed MT.
Just like the Seltos, the Kia Sonet too is available in two trim lines – GT Line and Tech Line. Under the two broad trim lines, there are six variants on offer – HTE, HTK, HTK+, HTX, HTX+ and GTX+. There are five variants under the Tech Line while the GT Line comes in a single fully loaded GTX+ variant. The GT Line and the Tech Line are also differentiated by subtle cosmetic enhancements on the outside for the GT Line and also different color schemes for the interiors. Here’s a look at the variant-wise price list of the Kia Sonet.
|1.2-litre petrol MT||Rs 6.71 lakh||Rs 7.59 lakh||Rs 8.45 lakh|
|1.0-litre turbo-petrol iMT||Rs 9.49 lakh||Rs 9.99 lakh||Rs 11.65 lakh||Rs 11.99 lakh|
|1.0-litre turbo-petrol DCT||Rs 10.49 lakh||Rs 12.89 lakh|
|1.5-litre diesel MT||Rs 8.05 lakh||Rs 8.99 lakh||Rs 9.49 lakh||Rs 9.99 lakh||Rs 11.65 lakh||Rs 11.99 lakh|
|1.5-litre diesel AT||Rs 10.39 lakh||Rs 12.89 lakh|