Kia Motors has announced its imminent entry into the Indian market. As a part of its business plan, the Korean carmaker undertook a ‘Kia Dealer Roadshow’ initiative to seek out potential dealerships across the country last August. At the roadshow, Kia showcased seven cars from its line-up including Picanto, Sportage, Sorento, Niro, Rio, Cerato and Optima. Now, the Sorento has been spotted in the country doing rounds near Ananthapur in Andhra Pradesh.
The Sorrento is Kia’s take on the luxury segment dominated by the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe and the new comer Skoda Kodiaq. The mid-size SUV is into its third generation now and received its minor update last year at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. It can be had in either a five-seat or seven-seat configuration in international markets. Powertrain options include a 2.4-litre straight-four petrol producing 185bhp, a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol with 240bhp on tap. There is also an option of a 3.3-litre V6 on offer producing 290bhp. Transmission is a six-speed manual apart from a six-speed and an all-new eight-speed automatic.
Kia has an upcoming manufacturing facility in Penukonda of Andhra Pradesh, some 75 kilometres from Ananthapur. This upcoming facility will be the South Korean company’s first facility in India. Kia is likely to see an overall investment of about 2 billion USD (approx. Rs 12,682 crores). The facility will have a production capacity of three lakh units a year once it starts rolling out in the second quarter of 2018. However, production will only commence in 2019.
Kia is looking at bringing tailor-made products for the Indian market. Apart from the Sorento, whichever products make it to the final Indian portfolio, Kia will locally produce them according to Indian specifications.