As reported earlier, Kia Motors has announced to invest $1.1 billion in the country and has also signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the government of Andhra Pradesh to build a new manufacturing plant. Now, the fresh report by CarToq suggests that Kia Motors has started bringing its models in India and is preparing for its launch. The company has showcased its expected Indian-model lineup to dealers as part of the Kia Dealer Roadshow. The car manufacturer is expected to start its local sales in the country by the second half of 2019 and it is also expected to showcase its model lineup at the upcoming 2018 Auto Expo.
The company displayed its model range in the country as part of the roadshow, that includes the Stonic, Sportage, Rio hatchback, Rio sedan, Sorento, Niro, Optima, Picanto and the Cerato/Forte. It is expected that Kia will first launch three models in the country followed by other vehicles in a phased manner.
The Kia Stonic is a sub-compact SUV that will compete with the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. Ford EcoSport and Honda WR-V. It will boast of the company's tiger-nose grille, side body cladding and sleek headlamp. The Kia Stonic will feature a 'Targa-style' roof, a semi-convertible body style with a removable roof, in dual tone colour. The company will offer the Stonic with the dashboard-mounted infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard.
Kia revealed the third generation Picanto at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show and is one of the models that will be manufactured in India. Internationally, the Kia Picanto gets three engine options, a 1.0 litre, 1.25 litre petrol and a new 1.0-litre T-GDI engine. All engines are paired to a five-speed manual gearbox, while the 1.25 litre petrol engine is also available with a four-speed automatic transmission. The Indian-spec Picanto is expected to be powered by a 1.2 litre 4-cylinder petrol engine with about 85 hp of power and will be mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. There is also a possibility of a 1.0 litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol unit with 99 hp of power. The same engine also powers the Kia Rio in international markets.
The other car showcased was the Kia Sportage that will rival the likes of Hyundai Tucson and Jeep Compass when launched in India. The compact SUV is already on sale in its global markets and is expected to be powered by a 2.0 litre diesel engine in India. It also gets signature tiger grille and bold wheel arches. The information about the above-mentioned vehicles is little and will be revealed soon nearing its launch. The event also had on display is the Sorento, a full-size SUV that will rival the Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Endeavour and the Toyota Fortuner in the country. Other vehicles include the Kia Niro crossover, which is the company’s first hybrid car. It is expected that the company might not launch the crossover in India initially.
Kia Rio hatch and the Rio sedan were also showcased that might come to India by 2019. The Kia Cerato and the Kia Optima sedans were also a part of the Kia Dealer Roadshow. The Cerato will compete with the Hyundai Elantra and the Toyota Corolla Altis, while the Optima will rival the Skoda Superb, Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry in its segment.
Kia India’s manufacturing unit will begin construction later this year and will commence operations by 2019. The facility is spread across 23 million square feet and will have independent lines for stamping, welding, painting and assembly of the vehicles. It will have an initial annual capacity of 300,000 cars.
Image source: CarToq.com