Kia Motors, Hyundai’s sister brand, is currently in talks with a few Indian state governments to set up its local manufacturing facility. Meanwhile, the company has already started work on developing India-spec models with the help of its Hyderabad R&D facility (owned by Hyundai).
According to a note in Kia’s recent annual report, the R&D centre in Hyderabad supports design and evaluation of automobiles with a focus on developing localised products.
It is unconventional for an automaker to start with its R&D operations before the commencement of retail sales. This highlights the strong conviction Kia has on the Indian market.
Kia and Hyundai share the platform to benefit from economies of scale and turn profitable quickly. Almost all of Kia’s products share their platform with Hyundai and hence, the positioning needs to be clearly defined.
Now that Hyundai clearly made a shift to the premium end of the market with its Grand i10, i20, Creta and upcoming Tucson, Kia is likely to take up the cost sensitive space previously occupied by its sister company and lead the charge against Maruti Suzuki. Such a strategy would be in contrast to the market positioning of these two brands in the international markets. Kia is positioned above Hyundai globally.
The government officials of Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh are reported to have offered land for Kia to set up its plant. We would be knowing about the automaker’s final decision on the location of its India plant sooner than later.
Kia Niro Hybrid – Photos
Via – Business-standard.com