Kia to challenge Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Hyundai Elite i20 with premium hatchback
South Korean firm Kia Motors Corp is developing a hatchback and a mid-size sedan to make its presence in the growing market. Kia Motors plans to start selling the two cars within a year of introducing its first product, a sport-utility vehicle, in India.
In a bid to take on rivals Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Hyundai Motor India Ltd, among others in the Indian auto market, South Korean firm Kia Motors Corp is developing a hatchback and a mid-size sedan to make its presence in the growing market. Kia Motors plans to start selling the two cars within a year of introducing its first product, a sport-utility vehicle, in India, said a Mint report, citing people with direct knowledge of the development.
Kia Motors, which is owned about a third by Hyundai, has already discussed its plans to develop the two products—codenamed KP1 and KP2— with its vendors in India after receiving an approval from its headquarters, said the report citing the people mentioned above.
“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,” one of the persons told Mint.
He added, “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.”
Notably, the domestic passenger vehicle market comprises hatchbacks, sedans and compact SUVs, and the segment is reportedly dominated by Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai. SUVs have reportedly outpaced car sales growth in the past few years.
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With an initial capacity of 300,000 vehicles a year, the South Korean firm is building a factory in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh, and the factory is scheduled to open next year, the report added.