Trial production at the first Kia plant in India, located in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, commenced today. This also marks the arrival of the Kia SP2i SUV that is based on the Kia SP Concept.
Kia’s Anantapur manufacturing facility is spread across 536 acres and is capable of an annual production capacity of up to 3,00,000 units. The first model for this new plant is the SP2i premium B-SUV that will enter series production in the second half of 2019. In addition to commencing trial production, the company consolidated its Future Mobility Partnership with the state government today by handing over a unit of the all-new Kia Soul EV that broke cover in just November last year.
The Kia SP2i is designed with a strong focus on India but it's made for the world. It’s going to developed markets like South Korea and the USA as well, as a model positioned above the Kia Stonic. Reports say that this model sits on an upgraded version of the Hyundai Creta’s platform. The exterior design won’t substantially differ from the concept.
Kia will offer the SP2i with a slew of premium features, including 360-degree camera, head-up display, ambient lighting, WiFi and wireless charging. Engine options will include 1.5-litre petrol and diesel units, both likely conforming to BSIV norms initially. There’s speak of a performance variant sporting a 1.4-litre T-GDI turbocharged direct injection petrol engine as well.
The prices of the Kia SP2i will fall in the INR 10-16 lakh (ex-showroom) range. In addition to the Hyundai Creta and the Nissan Kicks direct rivals, the competition will include the Mahindra XUV500 and the Tata Harrier.