Kia has begun inviting new dealer partners in India. The Korean firm kicked off its dealer roadshows with an event held recently in Delhi for prospective partners, and has additional events scheduled for Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata, to be held within the next 30 days.
Apart from sharing knowledge about the company and highlighting their business plans for India, the company showcased a large range of models from their international line-up. The company is also using the event to gain ground-level feedback about our market from the various existing automobile dealers who are part of the event.
According to sources present at the event, the company stated that they are very serious about the Indian market and are aiming to be a key player. They also stressed the fact that, while being a part of Hyundai, Kia will be an independent brand in its own right and will compete with Hyundai just as they would with other brands.
Company officials did not divulge which models were to be launched but only stated that they would begin with an SUV and a sedan, while bringing in other relevant models in due course.
Plans are already afoot for a production facility and construction of the same is set to begin in Q4 this year. The first models are expected to roll off the lines in the second half of 2019.
A total of seven Kia models were present at the event. Here's a look at the car range that was showcased to the prospective Indian dealers:
The Kia Picanto is powered by a 1.0-litre petrol engine that makes 67hp at 5,500rpm and 95Nm of torque at 3,750rpm, and is mated to a five-speed gearbox. The Korean manufacturer claims a top speed of 155kph and a fuel efficiency of 20kpl.
The Picanto shares its platform with the i10 sold in international markets but is smaller than the Grand i10 sold in India. It has a length of 3,595mm, width of 1,485mm, height of 1,595mm, and a wheelbase that is 2,400mm long. The hatchback’s gross weight is 1,370kg and comes with a ground clearance of 151mm. It also gets 255 litres of boot space.
If Kia brings the hatchback to India, the Picanto will rival the Maruti Celerio, Renault Kwid 1.0 and Hyundai Grand i10.
The Rio is a larger hatchback that comes with a 1.25-litre petrol engine that makes 84hp at 6,000rpm and 122Nm of torque at 4,000rpm. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual that helps it reach a claimed top speed of 170kph and a claimed fuel economy of 19.23kpl.
The Kia Rio is 4,065mm long, 1,450mm wide and 1,720mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,580mm. It has a gross weight of 1,560kg, is 150mm above the ground and boasts of 325 litres of boot space.
The Rio is in the same class as the Volkswagen Polo, Hyundai i20, the upcoming Ford Figo and Suzuki Swift.
The Kia Cerato sedan is powered by a 1.6-litre petrol motor that produces 130hp and 157Nm of torque. Its engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that aids in delivering a claimed fuel economy of 14.93kpl and a claimed top speed of 195kph.
The sedan is 4,560mm long, 1,435mm wide and 1,780mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,700mm. The Cerato weighs 1,740kg and has a ground clearance of 150mm. It also has 482 litres of boot space.
Kia’s Cerato is sold as the Forte in the US, but will rival the likes of the Volkswagen Jetta, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla Altis if launched in India.
The Optima is a larger sedan when compared to the Cerato and gets a more powerful 2.0-litre petrol mill that develops 143hp and 204Nm of twisting force, paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. The claimed mileage and top speed are 13.16kpl and 208kph, respectively.
The larger Kia sedan is 4,855mm long, 1,860mm wide and 1,465mm tall, with a 2,805mm wheelbase. It has a ground clearance of 145mm, along with a gross weight of 2,020kg. The boot space stands at 510 litres.
The Kia Optima will rival the Toyota Camry, Skoda Superb and the Honda Accord if launched in India.
The Sportage SUV showcased is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine developing 185hp and 402Nm of torque. Its diesel mill is paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox that aids in delivering a claimed fuel efficiency of 14.93kpl and a claimed top speed of 201kph.
The Sportage is 4,480mm in length, 1,635mm in width and 1,855mm in height, and has a wheelbase of 2,670mm long. It gets a ground clearance of 182mm, a boot space of 466 litres, and weighs a total of 2,170kg.
Kia’s Sportage will rival the likes of the Volkswagen Tiguan, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson and the Jeep Compass if brought to India.
Kia had also displayed the Niro hybrid SUV and the larger Sorento SUV at the dealership meet.