The SP SUV will go on sale in the middle of this year in India and is the first model Kia is debuting with
Kia Motors is gearing up to make its debut in the Indian market by the middle of this year and has invested a huge sum of money (around one billion USD) for the long-term future. The South Korean auto major announced its intentions to make a big impact in India by showcasing its entire global lineup at the 2018 Auto Expo and followed it up with roadshows to attract dealers and customers.
An India-specific concept dubbed SP also premiered at the motoring show and its production version is the first model slated for official entry. It is a compact premium SUV that will compete against the likes of Hyundai Creta, Nissan Kicks and Tata Harrier, and will reportedly come with several segment-first features.
Kia will highly localise the SP SUV to price it competitively and the trial production is said to begin by the end of this month at the brand’s vast facility in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh. The production base has an installed capacity to roll out over 3 lakh units per annum.
Kia is also working towards setting up a vast chain of sales network covering major cities (as well tier 2 and tier 3 cities) and is expected to be the largest for a new brand entering into India upon launch. The company hopes to be present in 85 to 90 per cent of the “leading car buying cities” right from the get-go.
It is also looking to have four regional offices across India. The sister brand of Hyundai has already revealed that it will be launching one new product every six months until 2022 while the hunt for a brand ambassador is well underway.
Of the six products planned, some could be sold via CKD route while the others will target volume spaces in the immensely growing Indian market. The next generation Rio hatchback in its cross-hatch avatar could also be introduced around 2021 and is expected to be slotted below the SP and above Hyundai Elite i20.