Reuters reported in February that Kia was close to finalising Andhra Pradesh as the site for its first Indian factory, with production scheduled to start in 2019.
The facility is likely to commence work in the final quarter of 2017 and begin production in the second half of 2019.
Kia's interest in entering India with a local manufacturing facility has been in the news for quite some time now. The plant will have a capacity of approximately 3,00,000 cars annually. The compact sedan segment has witnessed a decline in sales-automakers such as Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Hyundai Motor India Ltd are set to introduce new models to reinvigorate sales. "We will also solidify the company's future competitiveness on a thorough localization strategy", the company said. As a result, the carmaker will differentiate itself from Hyundai in all major operational procedures - product, advertisement and dealership network.
The announcement came after Kia and Hyundai Motor suffered a March sales slump in China, their biggest market, and sharply cut production in the wake of Seoul's decision to deploy a USA anti-missile system, which angered China.
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Kia is part of the Hyundai group, which is already India's second biggest vehicle maker with 20% of the market. "Worldwide demand for Kia cars is growing and this is our latest step towards becoming a leading global manufacturer", he added. Bhargava says the Indian market has the potential to grow to up to ten mn units annually in the coming years and no other country can offer such an opportunity.
Hyundai's performance in the US, its second-biggest market, also dropped 3 percent, outweighing growth in Western Europe and India.
Kia plans to produce a compact sedan and compact SUV for the Indian market. Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., the Indian arm of Suzuki Motor Corp. dominates the market, which now contributes nearly half of Suzuki's global sales.
Seoul, April27:Korea's second largest carmaker Kia Motors has finally announced its plans to enter the Indian auto market.
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14 killed as landmine blast hits van in Kurram
Earlier, on 31st March 2017, a deadliest explosion outside an Imam Bargah killed at least 24 and injured over 80. In January, a bomb planted in a busy vegetable market killed 21 Shias in the same town.