Kia Motors India will officially start trial production of its first model, the SP2 SUV at its new manufacturing unit at the Ananthapura in Andhra Pradesh. Just to inform you, Kia had showcased the SP2 SUV concept at the 2018 Delhi Auto Expo. Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu and the Ambasaador of the Republic of Korea to India H.E. Shin Bongkil along with Kia leadership will be present at the event scheduled on January 29, 2019.
The Korean automaker aims to improve the production efficiency and plans to commence mass production of SP2 based SUV from mid-2019. This new manufacturing unit has a production capacity of 3 lakh units per annum. In the first phase of production, Kia will use this facility to produce 90% products for India and rest for the export markets. The company will give employment to 3000 people at its Anantapur facility and will produce 1 lakh units in the first year in a single shift. The company will increase production to 2 lakh and 3 lakh units in the second and third year, over 2 and 3 shifts, respectively.
Kia will launch the SP2 based SUV in the second half of this year, which will be followed by other products in the next 2 years. The company also aims to bring in more models from its global portfolio in India. The Korean brand will also introduce a sub-4 meter SUV based on the new-generation Santro's platform, which will also underpin the upcoming Hyundai Styx compact SUV. Kia is also considering a premium hatchback, Sportage SUV and Carnival MPV for the Indian market. Talking about the SP2, the first Kia SUV is expected to be called Trazor. Though, official announcement is yet to be made. The SUV will be available in petrol and diesel guise. It will receive a new 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol and a new 1.5-litre turbo diesel engine. Both manual and automatic versions will be on offer.