Kia Motors, the World’s 8th largest automaker, is all set to launch their midsize (Codenamed SP2i) SUV in 2019 with an aim to be among the top 5 automakers in India within three years. Yesterday, the company organized a roundtable conference in Pune in the presence of Mr Yong S. Kim- CSO and Executive Director, and Mr Manohar Bhat- Head of Sales and Marketing, Kia Motors India to discuss the company plans. With a target of launching a new car every six months after the launch of the first product in India, Kia is planning to expand its portfolio to at least 5 vehicles by 2021.
Showcased at the SP Concept at the Auto Expo 2018, the upcoming Kia SUV is being manufactured in the company’s Anantapur plant and will roll out in the second half of 2019. Kia promises that for the segment, it will be equipped with world-class quality, the finest design and state-of-art technology. Drawing inspiration from India and the ‘powerful’ face of India’s very own ‘Royal Bengal Tiger’, the car carries Kia’s famous and the most distinctive feature- ‘Tiger Nose Grille’, designed by Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer.
Expected to be priced between INR 10 – 16 lakh, the Kia SUV will be priced slightly higher than its cousin, the Creta, for the more premium experience the former will offer. It will be powered by a newly developed petrol engine which will in all probability be turbocharged and a diesel motor which it will share with the Creta. Expect automatic and manual gearbox to be on offer. Going by the new wave of connected cars, expect the Kia to boast of similar features, a premium cabin and top-notch build quality. Trial production of the SP2i began on the 29th of January, 2019, where a camouflaged production version of its first car for India was test driven by N. Chandrababu Naidu along with Kia Motors’ leadership.
Kia Motors’ 536-acre Anantapur plant has an annual installed capacity of producing over 300,000 vehicles and will create over 3,000 direct and 7,000 indirect jobs in the region. A US$2bn investment by Kia and its vendor partners will ensure the availability of world-standard technologies and the development of high-quality local manufacturing skills. An integrated automotive production facility, the new Anantapur plant employs the latest production technologies, with more than 300 robots automating the press, body and paint shops. The plant is also capable of producing hybrid and electric vehicles.
Besides being state-of-the-art, the plant is remarkably environment-friendly with capabilities like 100% water recycling within the plant. In addition to this, the plant houses a five-acre training facility that offers a Basic Technical Course (BTC) in automobiles for skill development to provide all the skills necessary for an entry-level job on the factory floor, in the plant. Kia plans to revive the benchmark for customer experience in India and is deeply focusing on future mobility, design, product and capacity along with world-class vehicle maintenance and repair services facilities to create strong foundations in the country by providing the best car ownership experience to Indian customers.
Since its entry in the Indian market, Kia Motors has focused on developing a strong Aftersales & Network presence in India and customer relations. To further ease the process of owning a Kia, the automaker has signed an MoU with 8 leading banks of India to provide financing solutions with attractive offers to the customers that will enhance the brand’s penetration in tier 2, 3 and 4 markets. Kia Motors India recently concluded its second phase of roadshows, covering 26 cities over a span of two months covering 15,000 kms. Through this activity, Kia Motors India reached out to over 10,000 potential customers and buyers across the country.