Korean carmaker Kia Motors plans to enter the Indian market with an SUV, which it plans to launch in the second half of 2019. The company on Wednesday launched the SP Concept, on which the SUV will be based on. Peter Schreyer, chief design officer, Kia Motors, said: “Over the last few years, SUVs have become the vehicle of choice among Indian buyers. Combining the comfort and space of a sedan with the ability to tackle all kinds of terrain, we intend to storm the market with an SUV that will set new parameters in motoring. It’s still a concept – so it’s a little bit exaggerated – but the actual production car will be very close to what you see here at Auto Expo 2018.”
Once the company rolls out the SUV, it plans to slowly start to ramp up capacity to around three lakh units. The SUV is only going to be a taster, according to the company. Following the SUV, the company plans to launch a diverse mix of products from premium sedans to compact cars. Kookhyun Shim, managing director and CEO, Kia Motors India, said, “Kia Motors is delighted to enter India, which is all set to catapult into the world’s fifth-largest economy this year. We at KMI are thrilled to start operations at such a favorable time, and additional forecasts predict that India will be amongst the world’s largest car markets in a few years.” The company has also started work on an electric vehicle in India. According to Manohar Bhat, head – sales and marketing group, the company may also look at an EV launch in India.