In April 2017, Kia Motors announced its entry into the Indian automobile market by signing a MoU with the Andhra Pradesh Government to build a new manufacturing facility in Anantapur district. The company then hosted a series of roadshows to meet prospective dealers in India, where they showcased the Picanto hatchback, the Cerato mid-size sedan and the Sportage SUV. Their manufacturing facility is expected to begin production in the second half of 2019, after which, according to a report, the first product to roll out of the factory floor will be a sub-4m compact SUV.
On the sidelines of the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Peter Schreyer, President and Chief Development officer, Kia, spoke to Overdrive about the company’s plan for India. He confirmed that Kia will enter India officially in 2019 and it is likely to do this with a sub-4m SUV. SUVs, in fact, according to Schreyer is what the Indian market wants most of all.
Kia also confirmed that it is developing India-centric products as well and these will also show up in time in India. The sub-4m SUV will be an all-new product for Kia, something which doesn’t extend in its current range. Schreyer indicated that SUVs-aside, the demand Kia is seeing in India is for sedans because they look big and are spacious.