Hyundai Creta-challenging Kia SP SUV could become a 7 seater if needed, says Chairman

Kia Motors, a South Korean car company part owned by Hyundai, made its India debut at the Auto Expo, where it showcased the SP SUV concept. The concept’s production version will be a compact SUV that challenges the Hyundai Creta and Maruti S-Cross in the India market. It’ll be launched by the end of 2019, sometime around the festive season of that year.

The Kia SP SUV will be priced at a premium to the Hyundai Creta. What this means is, an entry price of about Rs. 10 lakhs. Kia will seek to differentiate the SUV from market-leader Creta and other compact SUVs through attractive styling and premium features on offer. The President of Kia Motors, has now revealed more information about the pricing and positioning of this hot, new compact SUV.

Han-Woo Park, President of Kia Motors, said,

We will position ourselves at a slight premium because we cannot compete with Maruti and Hyundai on cost. We will compete with other automakers on the basis of our design, which is stylish, young and vibrant. With elements such as our signature ‘Tiger Nose’ grille, we’ll be able to differentiate our cars from others. The platform is fully capable of developing a seven-seater. However, we will focus on a five-seater, first and if the response is good, we will consider a seven-seater. The vehicle is not only for the India market but also for the global market.

As the Kia Chairman’s statements indicate, the platform that the SP SUV is built on will be versatile enough to accommodate a longer, 7 seat version, which could be a Mahindra XUV500 rival. Also, since this SUV is a global product, Kia’s brand new factory at Andhra Pradesh could be used to build the SP for global markets, giving the company a big cost advantage as India is a low cost manufacturing hub.

News Source: Autocar India

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