Kia Motors India will be investing an amount of $54 million (approximately ₹ 408 crore) in its Anantapur manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh. The company's CEO, Kookhyun Shim, confirmed the news while participating in a discussion organised by the Andhra Pradesh government. Kia confirmed that that the investment will be made to scale up the manufacturing of SUVs at the plant, with the next launch being the Kia Sonet subcompact SUV. Kia Motors will also look to generate more employment in the state. Currently, 85 per cent of the overall employees at its Anantapur plant are from the local populace.
The Kia Sonet will go up against some well-established subcompact SUVs in the market like the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Ford Ecosport, Mahindra XUV300 and Tata Nexon and will be offered with a bunch of segment-first features. So expect the cabin to be loaded with features like ventilated seats, sun blinds, touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and Kia's UVO connected car tech, auto climate control, electric sunroof, wireless charger and push-button start-stop among others. It is likely to share engine options with the Hyundai Venue, so expect the 1.2-litre petrol, a 1.5-litre diesel and a 1.0-litre GDi turbo petrol engine on offer. Transmission options will include a 6-speed manual and a DCT automatic too, which will send power to the front wheels.