Kia made the news at the International Motor Show, Germany at Frankfurt with its Kia Stonic compact SUV and the Kia Proceed concept - an extended form of a hot hatch in effect. But now, on the sidelines, Peter Schreyer, president and chief design officer, Kia told OVERDRIVE more about the company's plan for India. Kia will enter India officially in 2019 and it is likely to do this with a sub-4m SUV. SUVs, in fact, according to Schreyer what the Indian market wants most of all.
Kia Stonic could compete with Renault Captur, Hyundai Creta and Jeep Compass when it is launched in India.
Kia also confirmed that it is developing India-centric products as well and these will also show up in time in India. The sub-4m SUV, for instance, is a new car for Kia - it doesn't extend in its current range. Schreyer indicated that SUVs-aside, the demand Kia is seeing in India is for sedans because they look big and spacious.
Kia's entry into India has been simmering on the news burner for a while. Back in April, Kia had announced that it will be setting up a manufacturing plant in Andhra Pradesh. The company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Andhra Pradesh to build its facility in Anantapur district.
The Kia Proceed concept from the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show shows an elegant hot-hatch form extended to become the next step in the Ceed family,
The factory is spread across 536 acres and has facilities for stamping, welding, painting and assembly. Besides the main factory, the site will house the ancillary parts factories to facilitate smooth operations. Speaking about the brand-new plant, Han-Woo Park, president, Kia Motors, said that the new facility will not only provide greater flexibility for Kia's global business but also help sell cars in India, currently the fifth largest market in the world.