Logistics

Kia Motors India to launch two more models in 2020

V Rishi Kumar Anantapur | Updated on December 05, 2019 Published on December 05, 2019

This includes Carnival MUV in February

After the success of Seltos SUV, its maiden India offering, Kia Motors India plans to introduce two more models during 2020, including Carnival MUV.

Kia plans to showcase its premium Carnival MPV at the India Auto Expo in February 2020.

The Korean multinational automotive company, which sells close to 3 million units globally, has set up a Greenfield manufacturing plant in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh from where it had rolled out Seltos, which received an overwhelming response.

“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," Kookhyun Shim, Managing Director and CEO of Kia India.

Kia plans to strengthen its offline presence as well. It has established 265 touchpoints and plans to add an additional 50 touchpoints and services centers by March 2020.

Manohar Bhat, Vice President and Head of Sales and Marketing of Kia in India, said, the company has started off on a positive note and no automotive company commenced a second shift within three months of commissioning of a new plant.

Upcoming cars

"We are on course to introducing one new model every six months and our second offering will be Carnival MUV in February 2020. This will be offered in a new segment and come with several configurations. It's bookings will start in January next," he said.

This will be followed by another model in six months, a compact SUV positioned below Seltos.

The Korean company and more than 100 vendors spread around the plant and other locations have enabled the company to roll out Seltos with high level of indigenization. The total investment is likely to be about 2.1 billion dollars.

The company plant has a capacity to manufacture 3,00.000 units per annum. With it's second shift in operation, it has capacity to deliver 200,000 units per annum in a full year of operation.

"Our aim is to achieve full capacity as early as possible focussing on the Indian market and launch of new models. While the main focus will be on domestic market, we may export to some select markets in the region including the Middle East," he said.

Referring to backlog for Kia Seltos supplies in India, Bhat said that the focus is on clearing the orders as early as possible. We are in talks with the suppliers to step up output. In Seltos, there is big demand for some top end models, which is responsible for some backlog, he explained.

Asked about the slowdown in the automotive market, he said that the Seltos has doing well. We are offering BS VI models and this has also played a role in the volumes it is clocking.

Asked about electric vehicle plan from Kia, he said that the company has products to offer and the plant has capability to produce Electric Vehicles, but the support infrastructure has to go up to facilitate its growth.

On Hyundai it's sister company and Kia sharing platforms and engines, Bhat said: "Yes we do and we also make use of the research and development facilitates of Hyundai in Hyderabad and other locations and share knowhow. Even rival companies do this all over the world.'

Kia officially opened its new production facility which is now fully operational. The Kia Anantapur production facility occupies 23 million square feet (2.16 km2/536 acres) and incorporates all and 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. Kia’s presence in Anantapur has helped create over 12,000 new direct and indirect jobs across the region.

The Seltos, launched in India in August, was met with strong sales. A total of 40,649 units have been sold as of November 2019.

Published on December 05, 2019
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