The fresh investment will be made to scale up the manufacturing of SUVs in the state as the company is gearing up to launch a new subcompact SUV in India- the Kia Sonet.
Kia Motors India will be investing an additional amount of $54 million (approximately ₹ 408 crore) in its Anantpur manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh. Company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kookhyun Shim has confirmed the news while participating in an Andhra Pradesh government’s program and has said that the investment will be made to scale up the manufacturing of SUVs in the state. In fact, Kia Motors is planning to generate more employment in the state, at present, 85 per cent of overall employees at its Anantpur plant are locals.
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The Kia Seltos compact SUV was the model with which the Korean carmaker made its India debut, followed by the Carnival MPV which was launched earlier this year at the Auto Expo 2020. So far the brand has maintained its focus on SUVs and now is gearing up to introduce the Sonet subcompact SUV in India. We had also exclusively reported that the Kia Sonet will go on sale in India around Festive season this year, in the August – October period. The Kia Sonet was also spotted testing in India in April suggesting that though production and sales operation were stopped during the lockdown, the company continued with product development and is not intending to delay the launch.
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The Kia Sonet will go up against some well-established subcompact SUVs in the market like the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Ford Ecosport, Mahindra XUV300 and Tata Nexon and will be offered with quite a few segment-first features. So expect the cabin to be loaded with features like ventilated seats, sun blinds, touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and Kia’s UVO connected car tech, auto climate control, electric sunroof, wireless charger and push-button start-stop among others. It is likely to share engine options with the Hyundai Venue, so expect the 1.2-litre petrol, a 1.5-litre diesel and a 1.0-litre GDi turbo petrol engine on offer. Transmission options will include a 6-speed manual and a DCT automatic too, which will send power to the front wheels.