Kia Motors has finally showcased the all-new Sonet in its production-form to the masses via digital route. However, the Sonet will first go on sale in India followed by its launch in other international markets. During the unveiling of all-new Sonet, Lorenz Glaab, Vice President and Head of Global Product Management, said that Kia is planning to use India as an export hub for Sonet and other products from the line-up. Currently, Kia operates in India via its only manufacturing facility that is based in Anantpur, Andhra Pradesh.
The Anantpur-based production unit is spread over 2.16 square kilometres and can produce 3,00,000 units annually. It is currently used to manufacture Seltos, Carnival, and the Sonet. However, the South-Korean carmaker has earlier confirmed that after launching the Sonet in the Indian market, it is considering to launch an MPV that will rival the likes of Maruti XL6 and Mahindra Marazzo. Thus, an increment in the sales volume is projected. Also, there are a lot of other positive attributes that help the brand in using India-based production units for export purposes as well.
With the projected sales of Sonet and the upcoming MPV, Kia is planning an increment of around 1,00,000 units annually. The brand has affirmed that an expansion in the Anantpur facility can help, but it is looking for space to set up another production unit in the country. Considering the brand’s sales and service network, Kia currently has over 265 touchpoints in over 160 cities across the country.
Talking of the Sonet, it a sub-4m compact-SUV from the South-Korean brand, which is based on the same platform as the Hyundai Venue. Furthermore, it borrows the powertrain and drivetrain options from its mechanical twin. It will be offered with 3 engine options – 1.2L petrol, 1.5L turbo-diesel, 1.0L turbo-petrol. The transmission options on the Sonet will include a 6-speed MT, 6-speed AT, 6-speed iMT, and 7-speed DCT. The Sonet is expected to go on sale in the country by September this year with its prices starting from around INR 8 lakh and topping out at around INR 13 lakh.