Korean automaker Kia Motors is reportedly planning to launch a hatchback and a mid-size sedan for the Indian markets. The expected offering by the company will challenge the dominance established by Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai in the auto market here, says a report by the Livemint. The two cars are in pipeline and will be launched one year after Kia Motors launches the SUV based on its SP concept, its first product in India, according to the report.
Kia Motors has received approval for its development plans from its headquarters in South Korea and discussed the same with its vendors in India, the report said while quoting sources privy to the information. Kia Motors is reportedly planning to launch the SP Concept-based SUV in India sometime around Diwali next year, which puts the probable launch date of its upcoming hatchback and mid-size sedan - codenamed K1 and K2 - around the festive season in 2020.
"The hatchback that Kia is planning to bring into the Indian market will compete directly with Hyundai Elite i20 and Maruti Suzuki Baleno. This (strategy) makes sense since these are the segments that are doing well and will continue to attract customers in the future as well," the report quoted a source.
"In the midsize sedan segment also, the company will throw a challenge to the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz facelift and Hyundai Verna as the quality of the products will be good and the management of Kia both in India and Korea know the India market well enough," the report further added.
Kia Motors has not confirmed the reports of any such launches yet. However, the Korean carmaker is set to open its manufacturing facility in Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh in 2019 with an initial production capacity of 300,000 units per year.
The entire portfolio of Kia Motors was showcased at the Auto Expo earlier this year, along with the SP Concept for SUV. Coming to India, Kia Motors will have to focus on hatchback, mid-size sedan and compact SUV segments where bulk of the demand comes from. Apart from vehicles falling in these categories, Kia also has a range of luxury sedans, MPV, hybrid cars and commercial vehicles in its portfolio.