Foreign automobile manufacturers have found a fool-proof way to enter and survive in booming Indian car market. The manufacturers tend to enter the market with a small car which is most popular with middle-class families, who form the backbone of India’s economy and then progressing to bigger cars eventually. Kia Motors is the second largest automobile manufacturer in South Korea, closely following Hyundai Motors who partly own the Kia Motors.
Few months back, possibility of Kia selling their brand alongside Hyundai was written off as rumours but now, the recent sightings of Kia Picanto or Morning as it is known in few international markets in Chennai near Hyundai’s plant has added fresh spark to the debate of Kia actually entering the market.
The car that was caught on camera was the same version which made its global debut at 2011 Geneva Motor Show. An i10 engine under the hood, the car offers more sporty feeling with racy exterior, long flowing lines on the doors and dynamic design. The ‘chic’ and ‘cute’ tagged Picanto seems to have grown up and the all new car has sharp and step-cut front end and an unmistakable front grill which gives Picanto its unique form and identity.
In international market, the car is powered by 1.0 and 1.2 litre engines which produces up to 87 PS of power. However, when the car comes to the Indian shores, it is supposed to be powered by 1.2 Kappa2 engine from the Hyundai stable. Picanto is equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission across its variants, while 4-speed automatic gearbox is found in the top of the line variant only.
With Hyundai and Kia already co-existing in different international markets successfully, there is a strong possibility that the group will share its strategy in India too. Well, if that is the case, then the next gen i10 which is due in 2013 could be based on Picanto or we can expect even better option with both companies launching different cars from their respective shops which in turn will make the car shoppers happy with more options in this emerging market.
As we all know, Skoda Auto and Volkswagen are working together in India, which is reflected by an upward growth of the sales chart. The group jointly operates the manufacturing plants in Pune and Aurangabad where Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen manufactures their respective products. Both companies, have, in the past launched cars in the same segment without much affecting each other’s sales. The company has set an example of how to survive in an emerging car market like India and we hope Hyundai works out on something similar with Kia as well, which will translate into a win-win situation for Indian customers.