Kia Motors to start work on $1.1-bn India manufacturing facility

Kia Motors

Hyundai Motor 005380.KS forecast a gradual earnings recovery after posting a smaller-than-expected 21 percent fall in quarterly profit as sales of higher-margin cars cushioned the impact of a USA recall and revenue decline in China.

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 U.S. anti-missile system, which angered China. The plant will have an installed initial annual capacity of 300,000 units.

Kia has also announced two cars slated for production in the new facility, a compact sedan and a compact SUV, which fit perfectly into the changing scenario of the vehicle market in India.

The segment, owing to significant demand from the taxi market, is expected to grow, according to Abdul Majeed, partner and national auto practice leader at Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

A part of the Hyundai Motor Group internationally- Kia Motors is all ready to set up shop in India by the end of 2018 or early 2019.

Kia Motors, an affiliate of Hyundai Motor (005380.KS), said it plans to start production of the factory in Anantapur District in the state of Andhra Pradesh in the second half of 2019.

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Kia would adjust its China production to reduce inventories, cut costs and launch new models including a small crossover to minimise the impact of the political row, he said.

Kia will invest $1.1 billion in its manufacturing plant in India.

The company said construction of a new manufacturing facility in India will enable it to maintain its position as one of the world's fastest-growing automobile brands.

Forecasts suggest that the country will become the third- largest vehicle market by the end of 2020. It is struggling to win consumers over with a sedan-heavy line-up in a world where sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are the hot sellers. "This is Kia Motors's ultra-mega integrated project which will add to the AP's fast developing automotive ecosystem and will have a spin-off effect on the industrial development and employment in the region", the official pointed out.

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