Kia has big plans for India; they are setting up a new plant near Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh, actively seeking partners to set up their sales and service network in India and chalking out their lineup for the country to help them hit the ground running.
The latest reports suggest that the first product that Kia will offer in India will be a made-for-India sub 4-metre SUV. This is expected to be based on the Carlino Concept, which was showcased during the 2016 Auto Expo. Kia may use the same 1.0-litre turbocharged engine that will power the Carlino's production version. The development of the SUV was confirmed by Peter Schreyer, President and Chief Development Officer of Kia Motors, on the sidelines of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show to an Indian automotive publication.
It is common for Kia and Hyundai to share platforms, though the cars built on them are quite different in philosophy. Kia cannot use newer platforms, like the one used for the Kona/Stonic, as they will not be eligible for the sub 4-metre excise duty benefits given by the Government of India.
The new compact-SUV is set to go up against competition like the current segment leader, the. Kia's upcoming sub 4-metre SUV will be aggressively priced in the Rs 7-11 lakh range to take on the competition.
Kia has been known worldwide for its stylish, youth-oriented products which rank high in terms of value-for-money and the new India-specific SUV will fit this description. The other product Kia is keenly looking into developing for the Indian market is a rival which will be based on the Hyundai Elite i20/Kia Rio platform.
Kia's Indian innings will begin in 2019, and it looks like they are set to begin it with a bang.