In an exclusive report, IndianAutosBlog.com can reveal that Kia plans to launch a compact MPV in India in 2021. The company will manufacture this model locally.
First things first, the plan to launch a Kia compact MPV in India is not based on the strong response for the recently launched Kia Carnival. These things don't happen overnight. The plan always has been to have three locally manufactured Kia models in India by the year 2021, beginning with the Seltos in 2019, the Sonet in 2020 and the compact MPV in 2021. The Carnival is more of a brand-building model than a volume-focused one. There’s a limited demand for such expensive American minivans in our market.
The Seltos, Sonet and the compact MPV will be vital to Kia’s growth in India. The company has setup a manufacturing plant in India with a production capacity of 3,00,000 units in Anantapur (Andhra Pradesh). This year, which will be its first full year in India, it plans to make 1,70,000 vehicles at this plant and reach the breakeven point in the second half. In 2022, after the launch of three locally manufactured models, it plans to have reached the annual production capacity of 3,00,000 units. Expect more niche models like the Carnival also to be launched in between, including an EV.
We expect the Kia compact MPV to be a Toyota Innova Crysta rival, albeit with a monocoque chassis. It should be based on the same platform as the Kia Seltos. This platform is capable of spawning a seven-seater, Han-Woo Park, President, Kia, had confirmed in 2018. Kia seems to have chosen a compact MPV instead of a 7-seat Seltos for our market.
Kia aims to be seen as an RV (Recreational Vehicle) brand specialising in SUVs and MPVs in India. Its target is to be among the top 5 auto brand within 3 years.