The first-ever Kia plant in India, with an annual production capacity of 3 lakh units, is likely to become fully operational soon. The trial production of the Kia SP2i is expected to commence this month, reports PTI.
Kia Motors India is constructing a plant in Erramanchi, a village in the Anantapurmu district of Andhra Pradesh. Speaking to PTI recently, Manohar Bhat, Head of Marketing and Sales. Kia Motors India, said:
We expect the trial production of SP2i cars, our first offering for the Indian market to start by end of January.
The model was previewed as the Kia SP Concept at Auto Expo 2018 almost a year ago. Road testing of the production version commenced in India and South Korea last year.
Statements made by Kia to the media suggest that it doesn’t want potential customers associating it to Hyundai, but models from both the brands will indeed have a technical relationship. Reports say that Kia is using an upgraded version of the Hyundai Creta’s platform for the SP2i. Three engine options are planned: 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol, 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel and 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol, with the last one reserved for a sporty variant. These will power Hyundai models in the future.
Kia has confirmed that it will launch the SP2i in India in mid-2019. Markets of the new SUV will include the USA and South Korea. The SUV's launch in the company’s home market is confirmed for the second half of this year.