Technology

Kia to invest $1.1 billion to build its first India factory

Kia to invest $1.1 billion to build its first India factoryā€¯

Kia Motors said in a statement it would manufacture up to 300,000 cars a year at the new factory in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, starting in late 2019.

Andhra Pradesh Government has entered into an MOU with South Korea-based Kia Motors which is World's Fifth Largest Automobile Company to establish its first-ever plant in India. That cost KIA about 160 billion won.

After a series of speculations regarding its plans to enter the Indian auto market, Kia Motors has now officially announced its India entry. The plant will be located in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh and will be spread over an are of 536 acres.

It will break ground in the fourth quarter of this year.

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Kia will invest Dollars 2 billion on this plant which will have a capacity to manufacture 3 lakh cars per annum. Besides the main factory, the site will house the ancillary parts factories to facilitate smooth operations. Earlier this month, Hyundai and Kia recalled 1.4 million cars in U.S., Canada and South Korea due to possible engine failures.

The maker of Optima sedan is considering making small cars and SUVs for the Indian market.

Kia, apart from its sister firm Hyundai, will pose significant challenge for market leader Maruti Suzuki.

The Indian vehicle market is growing at a rapid pace and over 3.3 million new cars were sold in 2016.

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Kia is expected to leverage Hyundai's supply chain network built around its factories in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu to gain a foothold in the Indian market, tipped to become the world's third-largest by 2020. Passenger vehicle sales in India grew 9% to 2.79 million in the year ended March 31. The company is yet to announce its initial product line-up for India, as it hasn't conducted a feasibility study yet but says that it wants to have three models in the country at launch: a mainstream model, a premium model and a brand image model.

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.

Kia also has hybrid and electric vehicles on offer in some countries.

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