Kia Motors has already announced that it is making an entry into the Indian market. The Korean carmaker’s official Indian website has also gone live last month. As a next business step in India, the carmaker has undertaken a ‘Kia Dealer Roadshow’ initiative to seek out potential dealerships across the country. The first of these roadshows was held in Delhi recently, where Kia showcased seven cars from its current line-up.
After the capital city, the roadshow will move on to Mumbai, Bangalore, and Kolkata. Depending on the response from the dealerships in all these roadshows, Kia will be deciding its Indian portfolio. The seven cars Kia showcased in Delhi were the Picanto, Sportage, Sorento, Niro, Rio, Cerato and Optima.
The Picanto hatchback, which is based on the Hyundai Grand i10, garnered the most interest and is the most likely candidate to make its way to India. The Rio hatchback also elicited a positive response. However, Kia might choose to introduce the Rio sedan in India, rather than the hatchback. The sedans put up on display were limited to the Cerato and Optima. The former is a D-segment vehicle which (if introduced in India) will go up against the likes of Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla Altis. The Optima, on the other hand, is a bigger sibling which rivals the like of Skoda Superb and Toyota Camry.
Meanwhile, the Niro, Sportage and Sorento were the other three high riding vehicles on display. The Sportage falls in the same category as the Hyundai Tuscon while the Sorento is a potential rival to the Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Fortuner. However, before getting its big SUVs into India, Kia might introduce the Stonic crossover first. The all-new Stonic was revealed earlier this year and seems like a viable option for India. It would fall into the same segment as the Creta, which is in high demand these days.
The South Korean automaker has already announced a factory in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh. The local operations will commence there once the brand arrives here in 2019. Kia is looking at bringing tailor made products for the Indian market. Whichever products make it to the final Indian portfolio, Kia will locally produce them according to Indian specifications.