South Korean car maker Kia has revealed its future plans for the Indian market. The first new launch will be a compact SUV based on the SP Design concept that was revealed at the 2018 Auto Expo. The SP Design SUV will take on the Hyundai Creta when it launches here in the festive season of 2019.
Kia has two more cars lined up for the Indian market in 2020. One will be a premium hatchback that will sit in the Maruti Baleno-Hyundai Elite i20 segment while the other will be a sub-4 meter compact SUV that will take on the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza.
Both these cars will be priced lower than the SP Design SUV, and will be built at the new factory Kia has set up at Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh. All three cars will have heavy amounts of localization so that Kia can price them competitively.
High localization levels will also mean that spares and service will be affordable, making Kia a mass-market brand to watch out for. Kia will take a call on the new cars to be launched in India after it’s done with launching these three cars – a compact SUV based on the SP Design concept, a sub-4 meter SUV and a premium hatchback.
Kia CEO and President, Han-Woo Park, confirmed this development,
In 2019, we will launch the SP concept car. In the following year (2020), we will launch the small SUV, (the) next car will be a premium hatchback, and based on market demand we will decide other models.
The three cars that Kia will launch in India by 2020 represent a market of at about 75,000 monthly units, with room to grow as a large number of budget hatchback buyers are looking to upgrade. The Baleno segment does at least 25,000 monthly units while the Brezza and Creta segments do about 20,000 units each per month. By October 2019, Kia plans to have a nationwide sales and service network in place as it seeks to start off directly in the mass-market.