Kia will be entering the Indian automotive market next year with an all-new SUV, joining its sister brand Hyundai who have been catering to buyers there since the mid-1990s. To play into the region’s preference to the SUV and perhaps to hype their 2019 arrival, the South Korean automaker will be previewing an all-new model at the Indian Auto Expo in New Dehli.
Outside from its position, at least initially, as a region-specific member of the Kia family, the production model that the SP concept portends should be quite similar to the brand’s existing models available more broadly, featuring the a similar spread of powertrains as well as shared underpinnings and design cues.
These early images show a distinctively orange coloured SUV that’s quite compact in dimension, a possible 7 seat configuration, and even some sporty undertones. The front end view is kept secret for now, indicating that there are some exterior details that will be used to distance the product as one that’s India-specific. How they integrate this into their more established ‘tiger nose’ aesthetic is anyone’s guess.
Together with the SP concept, the Kia stand at the New Dehli motor show will include some 16 other vehicles from Kia’s global vehicle portfolio - including EVs, plug-in hybrids, and even the Stinger sports sedan - suggesting a very broad line up that could be reaching showrooms there upon its market entrance.
Han-Woo Park, President of Kia Motors Corporation, commented: “All of us at Kia Motors are extremely proud to take our first steps into one of world’s largest automotive markets. And we are here to build more than just great cars. We aim to set a new standard in the Indian auto industry by providing consumers with world-class products and services, while engaging with and giving back to the local community.”
This all seems to point at a likely late-2019 debut for the brand, perhaps to coincide with the completion and operational output of their new factory in Andhra Pradesh, which is currently under construction and has been since 2017. At its peak, Kia expects some 300,000 vehicles to roll off its production line annually.