Kia's entry in India is already giving nightmares to some of the rival car brands; within just a couple of months, it has booked over 35,000 units of its foundation product - the Seltos. Along with a few new locally manufactured models, the company is looking at multiple imported models to boost its image as a premium automaker in our market.
According to a new report, Kia wants to launch 3-4 imported models in India following the Carnival (due in early 2020). Soul EV, Niro EV, Sorento, Stinger and Telluride are the models under consideration for our market, as per the report. However, the Telluride, a mainstream full-size SUV, is a left-hand drive-only model, and so, there's no chance it's going be launched here.
Of the Soul EV and Niro EV sub-compact SUVs, Kia wants to launch only one. The Stinger, a mid-size fastback, was the South Korean brand's crowd-puller at Auto Expo 2018, where it made its Indian debut. Maybe it will be launched a year or so after the facelift that is due in the first half of 2020. The Sorento, a mid-size SUV, is scheduled to undergo a full model change in the first half of 2020. Instead of Hyundai's Santa Fe, it could be Hyundai Motor Group's planned answer to Skoda's Kodiaq.
The presence in a variety of segments will help Kia to address multiple price points ranging from INR 10 to 50 lakh. All these products may be seen in India in the near- to mid-term future. A report in June 2018 said that the company may launch the Ceed also in our market. It goes without saying that these imports will need to be locally assembled locally, at the Anantapur plant, for the pricing to make sense. This facility is ready to roll out EVs too.
After Seltos, Kia is gearing up to launch the Carnival MPV in India next year. It is expected to be showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo. Following the Carnival MPV, will be a Sub-4 metre SUV six months later.
Kia's product offensive strategy clearly highlights its serious intentions for the Indian market. The company has set itself a target of capturing 5% market share in three years. It has invested over one billion dollars in its Anantpur facility which has a production capacity of 3 lakh units per annum.