Kia is “seriously” looking at launching the Soul in India. All this while it was expected that India might get the Kia Soul EV but not the Kia Soul. However, it’s the other way around, it turns out.
Speaking to carandbike recently, Manohar Bhat, Head (Sales & Marketing), Kia (India), revealed that the Kia Soul EV received a great response at Auto Expo 2020. Crossovers typically don’t amuse Indians, but the Kia Soul EV’s offbeat design has been taken very positively. Below is what Bhat said:
We got a lot of feedback from customers at the Auto Expo 2020 about the Soul. The Soul is a very young and different looking vehicle. While the Soul EV might not be a viable solution for India right now, it Soul is available in other powertrains and it is well worth looking at. We have got very positive feedback about the design of the Soul. We will look at the Soul or a similar vehicle for the Indian market going forward. We are seriously looking at it and we'll bring it only after checking out on how the market is progressing.
The Kia Soul measures over 4,000 mm in length (4,195 mm), which means that it will attract the same GST as the Kia Seltos. Importing it would make it too expensive, and so, locally manufacturing it is the only way to make it a successful product here. That would mean placing it between the Kia Sonet and the Kia Seltos in terms of pricing, say somewhere in the INR 7.5-10 lakh (ex-showroom) region.
Kia offers the Soul internationally with 123 PS 1.6-litre MPi N/A petrol, 152 PS 2.0-litre MPi N/A petrol and 204 PS 1.6-litre T-GDi turbocharged petrol engines. Boxy shape, ultra-sleek headlamps with narrow DRL, wraparound boomerang-shaped tail lights, 10.25-inch HD touchscreen infotainment system with split-screen function, 8-inch HUD, 640-watt, 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, 8-way power front seats, etc. are some of the salient features of the Soul crossover.
If the Kia Soul or a similar model receives the green signal for launch in India as a locally manufactured model, it won’t arrive in showrooms before 2022. The company has only two new locally manufactured products lined up for release right now, the Sonet in August 2020 and a compact MPV sometime in 2021.