Kia Motors India will be making its debut in the Indian passenger car market during the Auto Expo 2018 tomorrow, with the unveiling of the Kia SP Concept SUV. The 2018 Auto Expo, set to begin on 9 February with a conclusion scheduled on 14 February, will serve as a platform for the South Korean car maker to enter the Indian market with an SUV concept and 16 other of its global models. According to Kia, the SP Concept has been designed keeping the ‘Indian heritage’ in mind and that it will combine ‘sophisticated beauty and high functionality’. This will be a global unveil for Kia SP Concept and the brand will also unveil other of its models, including electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and also the new Kia Stinger sports sedan. Kia hopes 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.
Kia SP Concept will go up against the likes of Hyundai Creta, and while not many details about the SUV are known yet, the teaser images suggest it will come with LED lamps front and back, a contrast roof, and will have beefy wheel arches. More details will be known tomorrow at the 2018 Auto Expo.
However, it is expected that Kia SP Concept will come with a new 1.5-litre diesel engine, along with the option of a 1.6-litre petrol, which will likely to be assisted by some form of electrification. For transmission, Kia SP Concept is expected to get a six-speed manual and an automatic.
Before its venture in India through the Auto Expo 2018, Kia Motors India roped in Manohar Bhat as it head of marketing and sales, and Yong S Kim was appointed as its executive director. Before joining Kia, Bhat 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).
Kia Motors India’s first manufacturing unit will be set up in Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, construction of which will begin in the first quarter of 2018. The production at the Anantapur manufacturing plant is expected to begin in the second half of 2019, and will include approximately 300,000 units per year.
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