Coinciding with the opening of bookings for the new Sonet, Kia Motors India has also confirmed that the Indian operations will be used as an export hub for the sub-compact sports utility vehicle. The Made-in-India Sonet is likely to be exported to 60 markets overall, all within the Africa, Middle East and Latin America regions, said Lorenz Glaab, Vice-President and Head of Global Product Management, Kia Motors.
The Sonet had its global premiere in New Delhi earlier this month and pre-bookings for the “urban compact SUV” has just been opened by Kia on Thursday. The sub-4-metre SUV is based on the same platform as the Hyundai Venue and will feature the same three powertrains offered by it. “We don’t see a clash with the sister brand’s common platform vehicle because the Kia Sonet will target a different cluster of customers”, said Glaab. Kia usually looks at focussed vehicles that appeal to a younger and sportier segment of the market.
“We consider ourselves to be like a start-up brand and so have the ability to choose trending products that are unique for Kia and will work for the market. The Sonet is an example in that it is the right size and body type for India”, he added. Answering questions from media-persons via an online meeting, Glaab said even though the pace of migration is different, Indian market trends for passenger cars reflect the global move away from sedans towards SUVs. “Similarly, if the move towards electrification is also reflected in Indian market trends we will be ready to offer products in that category too”, he added.
The Sonet will be manufactured in production facilities outside India too if the local markets demand it. But, the Indian plant in Anantpur will be used as an export hub for catering to a number of markets where Kia wants to launch the Sonet reiterated company officials.