Published: Fri, April 28, 2017
Technology | By Ramiro Moody

Kia Motors says to invest $1.1 billion to build first Indian factory


Kia plans to commence local sales of cars produced at the new facility towards the end of 2019, once mass production begins in Anantapur. General Motors previous year said it has put its $1 billion investment plan in India on hold as it reshuffles its product plan to better meet changing consumer tastes and jump-start its sluggish performance in the fast growing market.

Kia Motors has announced its foray into the Indian vehicle market.

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Kia will produce strategic compact sedan and compact SUVs, especially for the Indian market at the new plant. Kia sells a little more than three million vehicles a year from 14 manufacturing and assembly operations in five countries; it has annual revenue of $45 billion.

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South Korea's Hyundai Motor posted a 21 per cent fall in quarterly net profit, dragged down by a United States recall and sales declines in China stemming from political tensions.

India is the world's fifth biggest auto market and is growing rapidly.

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. The company is counting on an enhanced product lineup, including a new small SUV KONA and a Genesis luxury G70 sedan, to help regain sales momentum and lead to a gradual recovery in earnings.

Hyundai saw its China retail sales slump 14 per cent in the first quarter, dented by anti-Korea sentiment in the wake of Seoul's decision to deploy a USA anti-missile system which has angered China. It also plans to rev up its sales overseas with new Niro plug-in hybrid vehicle model, sport utility vehicle K2 Cross and compact sedan Pegasus tailored for the Chinese market which are to be launched within the first half of this year.

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