The Sonet is expected to push the South Korean automaker’s Anantapur facility in India, towards its maximum current capacity
It seems that Kia’s overseas subsidiaries, especially the ones from Southeast Asia, are very keen on getting the soon-to-be-unveiled Sonet compact crossover to their shores as soon as possible. The sub-4m SUV which was conceived with India as its primary market is set to be unveiled on August 7th. We already have a fair idea on what to expect, thanks to the design concept, a teaser campaign and several spyshots.
Kia Sonet in Indonesia
With compact SUVs in the vogue pretty much all over the world, one would imagine the Kia Sonet, with its aggressive cost structure, generating high interest in the developing markets. With a long history of importing cars and CKD kits from India, Indonesia emerges as one of the top destinations for made-in-India Kia Sonet. This spy video of a camouflaged Sonet testing in the archipelago adds gravity to the previous statement.
The prototype was camouflaged just like the ones in India and appeared to be in production-ready guise. In terms of specifications, we expect the Indonesia-spec Sonet to be available only with the top-end 1.0-liter turbocharged petrol motor with 7-speed DCT. On board the Hyundai Venue, the engine develops 120 hp and 172 Nm of torque. The crossover will get one more petrol motor (a base 1.2-liter NA unit) and a diesel motor (1.5-liter turbocharged unit).
Going by the Kia Seltos which is already on sale in Indonesia, we expect the Sonet to be available only in fully-loaded trim. That would mean, the compact crossover will sport a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with UVO connected technology just like its elder sibling. Other key feature highlights will wireless charging, multiple airbags, ABS, EBD, ESP, etc.
In Indonesia, the Kia Sonet is expected to be positioned alongside the Kia Rio as the brand’s most affordable SUV.
Kia India’s export plans
The Kia Sonet is set to boost Kia India’s export operations significantly. The company’s Anantpur plant is already busy coping up with high demand for the Seltos in domestic market. It would be challenging for the automaker to accommodate production of Sonet for the domestic as well as export markets but it’s a good problem to have. Anantapur plant will see additional investment for capacity expansion in due course.
Kia is set to have a strong 2020 in India despite the difficult circumstances.