Kia Motors rolls out its first India-made car for trial at Andhra Pradesh plant

The facility is expected to produce up to 3,00,000 vehicles annually and employ around 3,000 people eventually

Kia Motors has announced its India manufacturing plans. It will be rolling out its first India-made car for trial runs today.

The South Korean automobile company will be beginning its trial production at its India plant at Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh and the first vehicle — most likely the SP2 SUV — will come out in July this year according to a Kia Motors spokesperson. The company plans to produce three car models in a year and a half.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu is expected to launch the trials along with Kia Motors MD K Shim and South Korean ambassador to India, Shin Bongkil.

Kia Motors rolls out its first India-made car for trial at Andhra Pradesh plant

Kia Motors India plant at Andhra Pradesh. Image: Kia Motors

According to Kia Motors India head of sales and marketing Manohar Bhat, the company has invested around $1 bn in this facility and another $1 bn will be invested by vendors. The facility is expected to produce up to 3,00,000 vehicles annually.

Speaking to IANS, Bhat said, "After six months we will come out with the second vehicle, maybe after six-nine months the third vehicle, and likewise fourth. In the shortest possible time, we intend to have four-five models." The SP2 is expected to be priced in the Rs 9 lakh to Rs 17 lakh range.

Kia Motors had signed a MoU with the Andhra Pradesh government in April 2017 to set up the plant. While the construction of the plant started towards the end of 2017, the work on the 214-hectare plant was completed a month in advance, making its Kia Motors' 15th plant in the world. This plant in Andhra Pradesh will employ around 1,300 people and this number is expected to go up to 3,000 once the annual production capacity reaches 300,000.

According to Bhat, most of the vehicles produced at this plant will be for the domestic market and there will be a heavy focus on localisation.

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