Well, we didn’t mean the British explorers who came down to our motherland and made it their home, oppressed us with their rule and what not. We are talking about new car makers who are making their way to India next year. These three, and I will name them in a bit, have already laid the groundwork for their India operations. Yes, I am talking about Peugeot, Kia and MG Motors. One comes from France, another from Korea and the third from Britain. Let’s have an overview of each car manufacturer.
Kia Motors India
Kia is the subsidiary of Hyundai, just like Infiniti is to the Nissan and Lexus is to Toyota. While Hyundai globally is known to be the premium brand, we aren’t sure what the plan for the Indian market will be. Our estimated guess says that Kia products will be priced at a premium. Kia Motors India has already begun constructing its manufacturing plant in Anantpur, Andhra Pradesh. This plant is spread across 536 acres and has an annual capacity of three lakh units. Production will start from 2019 and the first products to roll out will be a compact SUV as well as compact sedan. It is likely that both will share the same platform and could be the one of the Xcent.
Kia Motors showcased the SP concept at the 2018 Auto Expo. The public was supposed to give a name to the vehicle. Rumours suggest that the name Tusker has been selected. It remains to be seen if the company uses this name or not. Kia is currently in the process of identifying dealer partners for their vehicles.
Peugeot Motors India
Peugeot is actually returning to India after a gap of more than 15 years. The brand was rumored to be back in operation in 2011 but it turns out, they were actually global testing their products here. This time around, they announced their return with the CK Birla group. The latter handles the import of Mitsubishi vehicles. It also owns the Chennai plant which was previously used to manufacture Ambassadors. Peugeot has also got the right to use this nameplate.
Currently, dealers are being scouted for by the Peugeot management. The vehicles will initially be brought in as a CBU. Like Vespa, Peugeot too wants to project itself as a premium brand. At a later stage though, manufacturing the cars in India will be the logical step. These vehicles though will not be exported. The product onslaught will start with the Peugeot 208 and 308, both hatchbacks. They will have turbo petrol engines as well as diesel motors. Peugeot is known to give outlandish styling to its cars inside out and this will be a novelty for the Indian car buyer.
MG Motors India
This one has already got a ready made facility in Gujarat. Ready made because MG Motors purchased beleaguered GM’s plant in Halol. Currently, they are adding to the assembly lines and getting things ready for a grand launch. MG Motors is owned now by a Chinese manufacturer. It has a long history and the MG vehicles are considered as classics. Not only will MG Motors launch your regular conventional powered vehicles but also EVs. While MG’s plans are unclear on which product will come first, we believe it could be a compact SUV. After all, SUVs rule the roost and a compact one is a mass offering too.
MG Motors has been regularly conducting drives and the clinics for its to-be Indian customers. The brand engagement is stronger than what Kia and Peugeot have at the moment. Existing Chevrolet dealers are also been converted to MG dealers. It is also said that MG will offer really affordable cars to the Indian buyers.