South Korea based world’s eighth largest car maker, KIA Motors Corp, officially launched its cars in India at the Auto Expo 2018, Delhi. KIA Motors showcased 16 models from its global line-up. KIA Motors which is known for its affordability and quality sells more than 2.8 million cars in 180 countries.
KIA Motors had agreed in April 2017 to invest more than 1 billion dollars to put up a car manufacturing unit in the south part of India with an annual production capacity of 300,000 units. KIA will launch a sports utility car in India and retail sales will begin in mid-2019.
Along with its 16 cars showcased at Auto Expo 2018, Kia has also showcased its Soul EV at its stand. A five-door crossover, the Soul EV is styled typical of the breed, making it look like a hatchback on stilts.
KIA will compete with Indian car market leaders like Maruti Suzuki India and Hyundai Motor Co, and also additionally, its production will be a boost for the “Make in India” initiative.
Kookhyun Shim, managing director of Kia Motors India told Reuters at the event that KIA Motors has long-term plans for India. He also added that with improved economic conditions in India, customers want cars that offer value for money.
KIA had showcased its cars in India for the first time at the Auto Expo and it also expects to produce 30,000 vehicles in 2019 to start with, Shim said.
"With the plant in India, we are one step closer to creating a truly global manufacturing network," said KIA’s President, Han-Woo Park. He also added that the carmaker would focus on launching SUVs and hatchbacks in India and was also looking at introducing a compact electric vehicle.