Kia Bets Big On India, To Launch 5 Cars By 2022

With a new car planned every six months, Kia intends to launch a sub 4-metre SUV, an MPV, a premium hatchback and a PHEV by 2022

kia SP

  • Kia plans to launch a new car every six months.
  • It will kickoff India journey with SP Concept-based SUV.
  • A sub-4m SUV, an MPV, a premium hatchback and a plug-in hybrid to follow.
  • All of the above will be made in India.
  • Aims to become one of the top five car manufacturers in India by 2022.

South Korean carmaker Kia is planning to enter the Indian market next year with the SP Concept-based SUV showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo. While the premium SUV in the compact segment is Kia’s first, it will mark the beginning of a long lineup of India-specific cars that will follow suit.

Kia has confirmed that it plans to have at least five made-in-India cars in its lineup by 2022. It intends to launch a new car every six months, starting with the SP Concept-based SUV in September 2019. A multi-pronged product strategy will help Kia foray into booming segments like the sub-4m SUV, premium hatchback and premium MPV.
kia compact
Starting with the sub-4 metre SUV segment, Kia is readying its first ever product in the space and India could be the first market globally, to get it. The carmaker currently has no sub-4m SUV in its global lineup. Considering that it’s one of the most hotly contested segments in the country, we expect Kia to introduce one on the same platform as the upcoming Hyundai SUV, codenamed the QXi. The new SUV will take on the likes of well established players such as the Vitara Brezza and the Tata Nexon and also the upcoming S201 compact SUV from Mahindra.

Another booming segment is the premium hatchback space, which is currently dominated by the likes of the Hyundai Elite i20 and the Maruti Baleno. Although Kia hasn’t confirmed it yet, we expect it to launch the Rio that’s already on sale in various global markets. The Rio shares its underpinnings and powertrain with the Hyundai Elite i20, thus making it more cost-effective to bring it here instead of an all-new product.

kia carnival

However, what Kia has confirmed is that it is developing a Carnival-based rival for the Innova Crysta in the premium MPV space. The Carnival is Kia’s flagship MPV and is larger than the Innova Crysta. It is offered with 7- and 8-seater standard configurations and also has a unique 11-seater setup too.

Apart from these upcoming conventionally powered cars, the carmaker is also expected to introduce a plug-in hybrid in the country. With development on an India-specific EV platform already underway, we expect the first PHEV from Kia’s stable by 2022.

Along with a strong product offensive, Kia will also focus on its dealer and service network when it comes to India in 2019. The carmaker is expected to start its India innings with over 70 dealerships across the country and will also have a presence in Tier IV cities. However, it will be done through service centres and touch points.

As far as market share is concerned, Kia plans to be among the top five carmakers in India by 2022 with a market share of 10-15 per cent by the time it reaches 100 per cent capacity utilisation. The carmaker has a planned annual capacity of 3 lakh units at its Anantapur plant, out of which it will use 90 per cent for domestic sales and 10 per cent for exports.

What do you think about Kia cars? Would they be able to replicate the same success that Hyundai has seen in India? Do let us know in the comments section below.

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