- Kia plans to strengthen its innovative brand image and digital leadership
- Introduction of fully digitized sales and service channel for customers
- Kia expanding its future mobility business through various partnerships
- Kia to expand the product portfolio in 2020 with premium MPV and sub-compact SUV, one of the best-selling segment in India
- Seltos achieve early success with record-breaking sales results of 40,649 units for the last four months
- Completion of the plant resulted in the creation of more than 12,000 jobs in the region
Kia Motors Corporation has officially opened its new Indian production facility today in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh. Following a USD 1.1 billion investment by Kia, the new Kia Motors India (KMI) manufacturing plant is now fully operational.
The grand opening ceremony takes place just two years after construction began in the fourth quarter of 2017. The KMI plant is the new production home for Kia’s first ‘made in India’ product, the Seltos compact SUV, with other models to follow in the future.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by the Honorable Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Shri Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and His Excellency, Mr. Bongkil Shin, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to India. The ceremony was led by Mr. Han-Woo Park, President and CEO of Kia Motors Corporation, Mr. Kookhyun Shim, Managing Director and CEO of Kia Motors India, and key leaders from Kia Motors India.
“We are proud to open our new production facility in Anantapur today,” said Han-Woo Park. “Now fully in operation, our new plant allows us to serve the growing Indian car market, and export models like the Seltos to markets across the world in major regions. In the longer-term, it will also become a vital part of our global production network.”
Made in India: sales success for the new Kia Seltos
The first model manufactured by KMI is the new Seltos compact SUV. The Seltos, launched in India in August, was met with strong sales. A total of 40,649 units were sold as of November 2019.
“Orders for the new ‘made in India’ Seltos started just over three months ago, and high excitement and demand for the car means Kia already became the fourth biggest car manufacturers in India by volume,” said Kookhyun Shim. “Seltos with its unique design elements and specifications localized for the Indian market have made the model an overnight success.”
Kia plans new models, digital sales and connected tech for the Indian market
Kia’s plans for the Indian new car market include the production of additional models at KMI and an expanded product portfolio. Kia will commence production of its premium MPV model at KMI in early 2020. The brand also plans to introduce a new sub-compact SUV model to the market later that year, strengthening its Utility Vehicle brand image in India.
As Kia’s Indian product portfolio grows, the brand has already introduced a bold new digital sales strategy for all models sold in India along with an online sales channel, enabling every phase of car purchase online. The company will also enhance its aftersales services for customers with the launch of a new 24-hour real-time mobile service for vehicle maintenance, including service reservation, vehicle diagnosis and payment.
Kia plans to strengthen its offline presence as well. Already established with 265 touchpoints and service centers in 160 different cities, it will add an additional 50 touchpoints and services centers by March, 2020.
Echoing the brand’s global reputation as a tech innovator, Kia will also strengthen its brand image in India with the launch of a series of new ‘connected’ telematics technologies for Indian customers. With the launch of new vehicles in India, Kia will roll-out a series of new features to its product portfolio, including next-generation e-Call telematics, advanced GPS and navigation systems, remote ignition, real-time traffic monitoring, and a range of comfort-oriented features.
“We have a robust plan for India, and the launch of new models and technologies will help us maintain the positive momentum that we have enjoyed to-date,” added Kookhyun Shim. “We are excited to see how new models will be received in the Indian market in the future.”
Kia recently opened a BEAT360 brand experience center in the city of Gurugram, near New Delhi, to better engage with customers. The company is also expanding its business across India with a new partnership with ride-hailing service Ola. Kia invested USD 60 million to India’s leading car-hailing service provider Ola. Customers will be able to enjoy innovative mobility services including on-demand test drive, vehicle subscription. Kia also partnered with Revv, car-sharing service leader in Indian, preparing to introduce an integrated fleet solution of vehicle supply and maintenance.
New KMI facility creates jobs and boosts global production capacity
The Anantapur production facility is capable of producing up to around 300,000 units each year, boosting Kia’s total global manufacturing volume as it enters the world’s fifth-largest new car market. The plant occupies around 23 million square feet (2.16 km2 / 536 acres) and incorporates facilities for stamping, welding, painting and assembly. In addition to gasoline and diesel variants of the Seltos, production of future electric and hybrid vehicles was put into consideration when designing the KMI plant production lines.
The plant is equipped with more than 450 robots, helping to automate the press, body and paint shops, as well as the assembly line. Additionally, the area around KMI is home to numerous supplier companies’ facilities. Kia’s presence in Anantapur has helped to create over 12,000 new direct and indirect jobs across the region.
The facility also aligns with Kia’s global focus on quality, with a control center ensuring the highest manufacturing standards. The final stage of the plant’s production process is an advanced quality assessment and evaluation, carried out in tandem with suppliers to enable all parties to benefit from findings. Kia’s quality control measures ensure continuous improvements to product quality, bolstering the brand’s hard-won reputation for reliability.