South Korea’s oldest automotive manufacturer Kia Motors is all set to roll out its first ‘Made in India’ car with maximum localisation by mid-2019 from Andhra Pradesh. Kia Motors contributes the single-largest FDI in the automotive sector.The company had signed an MoU with the Andhra Pradesh (AP) government during April 2017 to build a manufacturing facility along with an ecosystem for ancillaries with a $2-billion investment for producing 300,000 units per year.“This is part of our global manufacturing footprint plan. With an initial investment if $1.1 billion, the production from India plant will begin from mid of 2019,” Han-Woo Park, CEO, Kia Motors, said after inaugurating framework installation at Anantapur in AP. The first car to be rolled out would be an SUV SP Concept which was recently showcased at the auto expo.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said he had “big plans” for the automaker which celebrated its framework installation ceremony in Yerramanchi village of Penugonda mandal and wanted to make Kia’s only Indian plant the largest in the world.He evinced hope that the project would turn the drought-hit Anantapur region into a hub for automobile industries. “The Bangaluru-Hyderabad highway is going to be an industrial corridor. It is also going to connect Visakhapatnam and Chennai,” he said. The car maker’s main target group is domestic buyers, but also plans to export its vehicles.