Kia motors is currently exploring locations for its first factory in India and is likely to officially debut in the next 2–3 years. They currently have some very interesting cars in their line up and are looking at the volume space, positioned below Hyundai.
Kia Motors CEO Park Han has been quoted by South Korean daily, Korea Times as saying; “Kia cannot export cars to India so it has to build a plant there. Although we would like to begin constructing the plant as soon as possible, we will not rush.”
The expected 300,000 units annual capacity plant is likely to come up either in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu or Andhra Pradesh. Prior to this, the Kia Sportage SUV and Soul have been spotted with ‘WB’ temporary registration plates in the country and could mean that the manufacturer has already commenced R&D and testing.
Let’s check out which of the four cars are more likely to reach India:
Kia Picanto is one of the most popular cars in the manufacturer’s aresenel and is also the favorite to reach India. It is based on Hyundai i10’s platform and even share some of it design, albeit in a much sportier level. The car just received a third generation update this year.
The new Fiat Picanto comes with a sporty body kit, exciting front fascia with projector headlamps and LED DRLs and a gorgeous looking rear. Its wheelbase has been increased to 2400mm, meaning better space inside the cabin.
Talking about the interior, it is black with contrasting red colours (as with the exterior) and gets lots of amazing features. The extensive use of soft touch plastic along with the floating infotainment system , vertical air con vents, new instrument cluster and new multifunctional three-spoke steering wheel provides a premium feel.
Of course most of these will not be present in the Indian spec variant as the Kia Picanto needs to be positions aggressively with Maruti’s Alto.
Kia Sportage and Soul
Both the Kia Sportage and Soul where spotted testing India recently and are likely to be in Kia India’s initial portfolio. The 4th generation Sportage is a direct rival to Hyundai’s Tucson and will share many features but they are completely different in looks.
The Kia Soul on the other hand is a crossover and unlike any car in Hyundai’s portfolio. It should help the manufacturer to get a distinct identity in India.
Prices of both models are unavailable at the moment.
Kia Stinger is the most powerful model ever to come out of the Korean maker’s stable and globally, it sits in a segment dominated by the Germans. It is a very sporty looking sedan and doesn’t feel out of place in any way.
The stinger is available in both rear- and all-wheel drive configurations, its top spec variant being powered by a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine expected to produce 365 hp at 6,000 rpm and 376 lb.-ft. (509.79 Nm) from 1,300-4,500 rpm. It can reach 0-100 kph in 5.1 seconds and has a top speed of 167 mph.
As we said, Kia will be concentrating on the volume segment and unlike international markets, will be positioned below Hyundai in India. This makes the Stinger’s launch improbable, but then again they could introduce it as a Halo model in the country.2
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