South Korean automaker Kia is getting all geared up to start its business in the highly lucrative car market. Kia’s first product in India will be the SP2i compact SUV that is based on the SP Concept which had its world premiere at the 2018 Indian Auto Expo. Kia also recently showcased the brand-new upcoming compact SUV internationally, in its near production version, named as the SP Signature concept. After the India launch of the SP2i compact SUV that’s scheduled to take place in September this year, Kia India is planning to introduce one new product to its lineup every 6 months.
With its several new upcoming products Kia is expect to fight it hard with several top car companies in India, including its sister concern Hyundai, which has been the consistent second largest carmaker in the country. Kia has not yet to officially reveal the name of its next offering for India after the SP2i, which is also a codename. As per sources, Kia is planning to launch a sub-compact SUV early next year. And this, new Kia mini SUV will be a rival to the newly launched Hyundai Venue, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon, Mahindra XUV 300 and the likes.
However, the speculated upcoming Kia sub-compact SUV will be a more premium one than that of the Hyundai Venue and its rivals in this segment and will probably have a higher price slab. The executive director and CSO at Kia Motors India, Yong S Kim revealed to the media that Kia does not want to enter those segments that already have multiple established models. Thus, we don’t expect Kia to offer a Maruti Alto or Swift or even a Dzire challenger, at least in its initial years of operation in India. Although Kia’s international portfolio does offer models in competitive segments, in India the carmaker wishes to have a bit different appeal.
That said, the upcoming Kia subcompact SUV is likely to share its platform and some other parts with the brand new Hyundai Venue. It is expected to launch in early 2020 and is not expected to have a starting range of around Rs. 7 lakhs, which is the general starting price range of the models in the highly booming Indian subcompact SUV market. The Kia offering would be fully different than its Hyundai sibling, as it will flaunt Kia’s styling and could offer a dissimilar equipment list and overall premium appeal to set itself apart from the Hyundai Venue and the rest of the subcompact SUV armada in India, and to attract buyers who would like a more premium model and won’t mind the extra premium. The Kia subcompact SUV is also expected to be the brand’s entry-level model in India for some time.