Ex: What is one truth you believe in that most people disagree with you on?
Manohar: Most people tend to disagree with my notion that India is solely value consciousness driven. With time, Indian customers are evolving and they seeking better products in their lives regardless of how much money they spending.
Ex: When will you say you have fulfilled all your goals?
Manohar: I strongly believe that peace of mind should be of topmost priority for everyone and one should try every day towards attaining that.
Ex: When have you failed and how did you overcome it?
Manohar: Failure is a part of the life journey. First of all, I accepted that and with every failure, I remind myself that I have to get up and keep trying.
Ex: One futuristic feature that you can’t wait to introduce in your vehicle.
Manohar: Although it’s becoming reality in some of the global markets, I can’t wait to introduce Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) in India. A fuel cell electric vehicle, or an FCEV, drives using the electricity that is generated when the hydrogen stored in the vehicle is joined with air. The vehicle emits zero pollution, and the only thing that is discharged from the vehicle when it generates power is pure water. Not only is this but an FCEV capable of removing 99.9% of ultra-fine dust (PM2.5) from the atmosphere.
Ex: Which old-school car/bike design inspired you the most?
Manohar: Among the numerous cars, I have seen and experienced, my pick would always be my Willys MB. My father owned one when I was growing up and back then as well, I use to be awestruck by the simple yet powerful appearance of the jeep.
Ex: Kia has made it clear that they will only focus on MPVs and SUVs in India. When can we expect the sedans and hatchbacks in the Indian market?
Manohar: We have witnessed a significant shift in consumer preferences in India. For instance, hatchbacks were incredibly popular in the past, but now they are increasingly being replaced by crossovers and smaller SUVs. In India and globally, the demand for SUVs is growing stronger and stronger. Our state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Anantapur produces midsize and compact SUVs. Our aim is to fully utilize the capacity and investment in the Indian market and hence, we are using our India plant as an export hub for SUVs. We are also observing the SUV trend globally and will produce them in our Ananatapur manufacturing unit. Hence, currently, we are focussed on the UV segment but that doesn’t mean we are restricting ourselves.
Ex: What is the motive behind calling the Sonet “Wild by design”?
Manohar: The term wild by design originates from the unexpectedness of Kia Sonet. It simply says that so much packed into one thing cannot be normal. It has to be something more. It has to be wild. The muscular built, powerful engine, futuristic features, and bold and aggressive design give it a strong presence on the road.