Kia invests $1 billion to build cars in India

After a series of speculations regarding its plans to enter the Indian auto market, Kia Motors has now officially announced its India entry.

Speaking on the occasion, Han-Woo Park, President of Kia Motors, said, "We are delighted to announce that Kia's newest manufacturing facility will be here in Andhra Pradesh. The facility is expected to begin production in the second half of 2019 and produce upto approximately 300,000 units each year", the official added.

Koo said Hyundai will launch three new China-tailored models, including a compact SUV, this year and an electric vehicle on the mainland to help recover sales. The company is planning to start construction from the last quarter of this year, with production slated to commence from the second quarter of 2019. Once functioning at full capacity, the new Kia India plant will be able to produce 3 lakh cars annually. The Kia factory site will also have several suppliers setting up shop in the vicinity of the plant, though several of Hyundai's suppliers may also supply to the plant.

Russia, Brazil and India were the bright spots for Hyundai in the first quarter, registering sales increases on the back of demand for the Creta SUV.

The world's fifth-biggest automaker together with affiliate Kia Motors reported on Wednesday a first-quarter net profit of 1.33 trillion won (S$1.64 billion).

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The new manufacturing facility in India will enable Kia to maintain its position as one of the world's fastest-growing automobile brands.

Kia, which operates in over 160 countries and territories worldwide, said it plans to develop a new compact sedan and SUV specifically for the Indian market.

During the first three months of this year, the auto manufacturer sold a total of 658,332 vehicles, a 6.5 percent fall compared to the same period a year earlier when the company sold 704,458 units.

"I would say the traditional segmentation of the industry is blurring since there are products of different shape and size available in the market in the similar price range", Mathur said.

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