Kia and MG Motor will be debuting in India with SUVs and they will likely face strong competition from a new Citroen contender
With India deposing the mighty Germany as the fourth largest automotive market in the world last year, it is no secret to see new manufacturers hustling to enter the country and make a name for themselves, addressing the huge potential. While the existing brands embark on new strategies to expand the market, the upcoming global companies are trying to leverage the popularity for SUVs and crossovers.
We will give a lowdown of things to come from Kia, MG Motor and Groupe PSA as they will be entering India with sports utility vehicles:
Citroen C5 Aircross:
A latest internet report suggests that, Groupe PSA, second largest carmaker in Europe, will arrive with a SUV. It won’t be a Peugeot as Citroen C84 or C5 Aircross is tipped to make its presence felt as soon as next year. It will harbinger the way for the introduction of volume segment vehicles in the next two years.
The assembly of the Citroen C5 Aircross could commence at PSA’s Chennai facility and it will rival Jeep Compass and Hyundai Tucson. Dubbed the “most comfortable SUV of its time”, it shares a lot with the Peugeot 3008 and features revolutionary suspension benefitting from Progressive Hydraulic Cushions.
Revealed first in April 2017, the compact premium SUV measures 4.5 metres long and is on sale in China and Europe. Although the engine lineup for India is not clear at the moment, Citroen uses 165 PS and 200 PS producing turbocharged petrol units, connected to the EAT6 automatic ‘box.
In Europe, it gets BlueHDi turbo diesel and a Plug-In Hybrid PHEV e-AWD drivetrain can also be found eventually with a total system output of 300 horsepower and all-wheel-drive configuration. In full-electric mode, it is good enough to return a claimed range of 60 km.
Expected Launch: Late 2019
Expected Price: Rs. 15.5-22 lakh (ex-showroom)
Rivals: Jeep Compass and Hyundai Tucson
Kia SP Concept Based Production SUV
The Kia SP Concept based production model will enter production by the middle of next year and is said to be two months ahead of its schedule of arrival as a launch date is proposed by August. It will reportedly be called as Trazor while other names such as Tusker is also considered. It will be manufactured at Kia’s newly established facility in Andhra Pradesh where over 1.1 billion dollars are poured in.
The concept showcased at the 2018 Delhi Auto Expo in February featured an upright front fascia with rather square design. Since it was not just a design study, the production influences can also be felt with the presence of Kia’s signature ‘Tiger Nose’ grille and a compact rear end similar to that of the Hyundai Creta in some ways.
The road-going Trazor or Tusker could opt for 16- or 17-inch wheels and the interior will be conventional unlike what was projected in the concept. It will be the first product from the Hyundai subsidiary in the domestic market and will share plenty of components with its main rival Hyundai Creta. Kia is also considering a sub-four metre SUV, Stonic premium crossover, Grand Carnival MPV and Sportage SUV for India in the near future.
Expected Launch: August 2019
Expected Price: Rs. 9.5-15 lakh (ex-showroom)
Rivals: Hyundai Creta, Renault Duster, upcoming Maruti Suzuki Vitara
MG Premium SUV
MG Motor will be entering the Indian market in May or June 2019 with a premium SUV. It will be based on a current platform the British brand uses but the product won’t be from the global lineup. It is said to be an SUV with proper stance and has bold design treatment. The company also promises to give premium customer experience with personalized and digitized content at dealerships, and won’t be introducing products in the highly competitive mass market space anytime soon.
The MG premium SUV is expected to have its prices starting from over Rs 14 lakh and will compete against the likes of Jeep Compass, Hyundai Tucson and upcoming Citroen C5 Aircross. By 2021, MG Motor hopes to have three or four product portfolio and the response the premium SUV receives from customers will play a significant role in the brand’s progression. Details of the Jeep Compass rival are not known yet but it will be an indigenous SUV with reportedly packed features.
Expected Launch: Q2 2019
Expected Price: Rs. 14-21 lakh (ex-showroom)
Rivals: Jeep Compass, Hyundai Tucson and upcoming Citroen C5 Aircross