Kia will launch the Sonet in India in July this year. Then, by early 2021 (January-April 2021), it will launch its fourth model in the country, as per a new report from BusinessLine.
Kia plans to sell only RVs (Recreational Vehicles) in India during its first few years. The company’s strategy is to launch only CUVs/SUVs and MPVs initially. So, it’s safe to assume that its fourth model will be either a CUV/SUV model or an MPV.
With the Seltos and Sonet out, Kia will have the covered two biggest SUV segments in India, B-high and B-low, respectively. There’s no plan for an A-segment SUV like the Renault Kwid at the moment. The Sportage, the company’s global C-SUV, is getting a full model change towards the end of the year, and so, that’s highly unlikely to arrive here by early 2021. There’s no plan to launch a hybrid or electric model right now, and so, the Niro (as an import) is out of the question.
A Kia CUV/SUV model that is likely to be launched in India after the Sonet is the Soul. However, the Soul will need to be locally manufactured whenever it arrives to be successful in our market, and we don’t see that happening in just a few months after the launch of the Sonet.
Kia has confirmed that it will launch an MPV in India in 2021. This will be a compact MPV that will rival the likes of Maruti Ertiga, Maruti XL6 and the Mahindra Marazzo. It will be locally manufactured. Local testing of this model hasn’t begun, and so, it’s highly unlikely that it will be ready for launch by early 2021. Besides, it may not be possible for Kia to launch a locally manufactured high-volume model so soon after the Sonet. The dealers may also need some breathing period between the two major launches. So, the fourth model will probably be a locally assembled import. But it’s difficult to say what it will be at the moment.