Kia Motors India (KMI) will make its debut in the Indian passenger car market with the introduction of a new concept car at the Auto Expo 2018 in February. Kia will take the wraps off the SP Concept at the Auto Expo 2018 on 7 February, along with 16 other of its leading global models. Kia says that the new made for India SP Concept SUV has been 'inspired by Indian heritage' and that the design language will combine 'sophisticated beauty and high functionality'. Auto Expo 2018 will host the global debut of the Kia SP Concept, along with which the brand will lineup its global models, including electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and a range of other cars – including the new Kia Stinger sports sedan. Kia Motors is hoping to translate its global success in India, which is considered the world's fastest-growing car market. The SP Concept and full range of Kia cars will be on display at the Kia stand in Hall 7 of the Auto Expo 2018.
When launched in India, Kia SP Concept will compete with Hyundai Creta. So far what's known from teaser images of the SP Concept, the will come with LED headlamps and taillights and a contrast roof, along with beefy wheel arches. The rest of the details will be clearer post its debut at the Auto Expo 2018.
Kia SP Concept will likely be powered by a new 1.5-litre diesel engine, along with the option of a 1.6-litre petrol, which could have some form of electrification. The gearbox options are expected to include a six-speed manual and an automatic.
Earlier this month, Kia Motors India announced the appointment of Manohar Bhat as its head of marketing and sales and Yong S Kim as its executive director. They will be a part of the core senior management term at KMI and will be instrumental in setting up India operations for marketing and sales. Manohar has headed various marketing and sales functions nationally with major Indian automakers, including market leader Maruti (as vice-president) and Hyundai Motor India (in senior positions) earlier before joining Kia.
In April 2017, Kia Motors signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the State Government of Andhra Pradesh, India, to build a new manufacturing facility in Anantapur District. Construction of Kia Motors’ first manufacturing facility in India is under consideration to commence in the first quarter of 2018. The manufacturing facility is expected to begin production in the second half of 2019 and produce approximately 300,000 units per year.