Naidu: My focus is to transform AP into auto hub

V Rishi Kumar Anantapur | Updated on February 22, 2018 Published on February 22, 2018

AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu (file photo)

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today said that the focus of the State now is on transforming Anantapur, in particular, and Rayalaseema region in Andhra Pradesh, into a major automotive hub in the country.

Speaking at the installation ceremony of the Kia Motors manufacturing plant coming up near Anantapur, about 180 km from Bangalore, Naidu said already Japanese auto company Isuzu, two-wheeler major Hero Motocorp, Apollo Tyres, Bharat Forge and Brakes India have made AP their manufacturing hubs.

While Amara Raja Batteries already has a big presence in the State, Ashok Leyland and Vira Vahana are among those keen to make it their hub.

The State has managed to attract $3.7 billion (about Rs 25,000 crore) in the auto sector, he said.

The latest addition of Kia Motors will not only make it a major anchor investor but also attract other manufacturers to the State. Located on the Bangalore-Hyderabad Highway and close to the Chennai-Vizag Industrial Corridor and the Krishnapatnam port, its infrastructure is ideally suited for automotive companies.

The drought-prone district of Anantapur has been transformed into a renewable energy hub with more than 3000 MW of wind and solar power generation, and the interlinking of Godavari and Krishna with the Pattiseema project has added to the availability of water in the region. All these making it an attractive destination for automotive companies, he said.

Mentioning about the State being ranked No.1 on Ease of Doing Business, he said this would not have been possible but for the hardwork put in by his team of officers in simplifying procedures and streamlining work process.

“The Kia’s choice of Anantapur to locate their plant is a vindication of my administration’s efforts to boost the automotive sector prospects in the State. Soon, Hero MotoCorp, which has signed up for investments for a plant in the State would also commence works. We are also in talks with other manufacturers but it may not be appropriate to discuss their names for competitive reasons,” he said when asked if Suzuki was in talks for a two-wheeler plant.

Naidu said the Kia’s investment of $1.1 billion committed by it would be one of the biggest such foreign direct investments to be committed in India by an automotive sector company if you also take the investments of its ancillary companies, he said.

Referring to the investments made into the State over the past three and a half years, he said so far 1946 MoUs have been signed with a potential total investment of over Rs 13 lakh crore and employment of about 32 lakh jobs.

He hoped that the upcoming Partnership Summit to be held at Visakhapatnam holds huge promise in attracting new investments. Along with attracting new investments, the focus is on ground the already committed projects.

“During my earlier stint as Chief Minister, I had closed in on finalising greenfield projects of Volkswagen AG and Proton. However, Volkswagen decided on another location and Proton had dropped their plans for a plant,” he said.

Referring to a survey by the All India Council for Technical Education, Naidu said it had rated AP amongst top States for availability of employable skills. This should also attract companies looking to set up plants to choose AP. Apart from that Google, Dassault Systems and now Kia have indicated at imparting specialised skills which will enhance employability, he said.

Published on February 22, 2018
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