Kia Motors announced over the plans to invent US$ 2 billion (approx. Rs 12,750 crore) in India over the next 2 years. Though, the brand announced in April that it would invest $1.1 billion to build a manufacturing unit in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh, while the additional investment will be used to create the supplier base, said Tae-Hyun Oh, the chief operating officer of its international business division, excluding the Marketing budget. The production at the factory is expected to commence in the second half of 2019.
Currently, Kia Motors has operations in 180 nations until recently the company was absent from just two important markets — Mexico and India. Last year, it started operations in the North American country and is now all set to roll out its first product from India in 2019.
Kia is planning to launch at least three models in India by 2022 and the portfolio will include hatchbacks, sedans and SUV, where a locally built mid-sized SUV is expected to be the first model to be introduced in India. As per the media reports, Kia is aiming to be among the top 5 car makers in the country with annual sales of 3 lakh units. To sell its products in India, Kia Motors aims to set up touchpoints in at least 100 places by 2022 and plans to have dealership networks in major cities by the end of 2019.
“We will produce at least three models and more in three years after starting operation. The first model would be a mid-SUV to take on the likes of the Hyundai Creta,” the executive said. The subsequent product line-up will be a combination of sedans, hatchbacks and SUVs, he added.
The company plans to extensively use locally sourced parts in the first mid-SUV, which it hopes will reduce costs.
“The product will be made in India and made for India,” Tae-Hyun Oh said.
Further, he added, “Our main challenge for would be (brand) awareness; so our first focus would be towards marketing.”
In 2016, Kia sold around 3 million vehicles globally. During Oh’s tenure, Kia has witnessed tremendous growth, where its global sales expanded more than 65% and the brand value nearly tripled to $4.7 billion.