Indian market to remain flat in 2024, Kia to grow by 13% – Kia global CEO Song | Autocar Professional


Ho-Sung Song, the global president and CEO of Kia expects the Indian market to remain flat in 2024. However, he said that the brand will post 13% growth in India.  

On his expectations for India, Song said, “The industry demand for India is expected to be around 4.1 million units in 2024, the same as in 2023. Kia aims to achieve a sales volume of 277k units, with 13% growth year on year, and a market share of 6.8%.”

On a specific step to outpace the market, Song said, the company will enhance its product competitiveness with the recently launched Sonet model and it will further strengthen its premium brand image “with the launches of EV9 and Carnival PE models. Additionally, we plan to expedite new dealer recruitment to rapidly build our sales growth capabilities,” he said. 

The CEO views the slowdown in India as not only a local phenomenon but expects the next two years to remain difficult in terms of volumes, with the global automotive demand expected to slow down in 2024 and 2025. 

“In 2024, we anticipate a decrease in demand of 1.1 million units compared to the previous forecast. In 2025, demand is expected to decrease by 800k units. Our analysis suggests that this temporary slowdown will be caused by a global economic downturn, EV subsidy cuts, and insufficient charging infrastructure, resulting in delayed customer influx,” added Song.

Reviewing the year 2023, Song said the global industry demand increased by 7.6% YoY to 86 million units. This growth was due to the release of ‘backed up demand in major markets,’ as well as continued high growth in emerging markets under normalised supply conditions.

Kia recorded a 6% wholesale growth, totalling 3,087k units, and a 4% increase in retail sales, reaching 3,016k units. In total, Kia achieved a global market share of 3.7%. 

“In 2023, regional sales demonstrated varying trends – Korea, the United States, and Europe maintained steady growth and increased year-on-year. In India, sales decreased slightly due to the absence of new car releases. In China, sales declined over the year due to a lack of EVs, but with the launch of EV5 towards the end of the year, we expect sales growth in 2024,” he said on Kia’s own performance.

The Kia CEO expects the global automobile demand in 2024 is forecasted to reach 81.8 million units with limited growth of +1.5% YoY. 

As per his guidance, the Korean market will decline 4.3%, the US market will grow 2.8%, Europe by 2.4%, India will remain flat and China by 2.2%. 

“In Korea, consumer sentiment has weakened following the rise in household debt. In the United States, a demand recovery is expected to weaken due to high interest rates and the exhaustion of pent-up demand. In Europe, we forecast a growth of +2.4%, influenced by the rise in vehicle prices and a contraction of the ICE market. In India, growth is expected to slow down and the demand is projected to remain at the 2023 level due to high interest rates and inflation. Lastly, despite the extension of EV tax benefits, China is expected to experience a growth of -+2.2%,” he explained in his presentation. 

Also read: Kia global CEO targets annual sales of 4 lakh units in India by 2030, expects 10% CAGR




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