Kia to enter Indian car market with SUV and SP Concept
12 June 2018
Kia Motors India, the wholly-owned arm of South Korean carmaker Kia Motors Corporation, plans to enter the Indian market with three models, including SUV, and an SP Concept in the next three years.
Besides the models showcased at the Auto Expo this year, Kia Motors India also plans to produce electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids in India, with targeted launch in 2021.
These vehicles will be produced at Kia’s upcoming plant at Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh, according to company sources.
"At the moment we are considering to produce electric vehicles and hybrids at our facility (at Anantpur)," reports quoted Kia Motors India CEO and managing director Kook Hyun Shim as saying in an interview.
The company is setting up a manufacturing facility spread over 23 million sq ft, with capacity to produce 3 lakh cars annually, with investments of $1.1 billion. It will employ around 3,000 people when fully operational.
He said the company will take a flexible view of the market and plan accordingly, but in any case will try to remain eco-friendly.
"At the same time, we are also thinking of doing a pioneering effort, to position our brand as an eco-friendly car maker. We want to be the pioneers in this market. So, by 2021 we could take the initiative to launch a fully electric vehicle," Shim added.
At the Auto Expo earlier this year, Kia Motors Corporation President and CEO Han-Koo Park had said that the company will introduce an India-exclusive compact electric vehicle between 2019 and 2021. He, however, did not elaborate.
Globally, the company has announced that it planned to have 16 electrified vehicles in its line up by 2025, including plug in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles (FCV).
"We already sell electrified cars in Europe and US market...We have all the technologies ready. We are very flexible at the moment (as far as India is concerned)," he added.
The current issues facing EVs, such as charging infrastructure and battery life-cycle management, would have been addressed to an extent by 2021, Shim said.
He said the company is also conducting market study in India to find which model out of its global portfolio of 16 brands could be launched here after localisation.