Anantapur: Kia Motors, the world’s eighth largest automobile maker and also first largest industry to enter the state during the Telugu Desam regime, has commenced trial production at Erramanchi Unit in the district on Tuesday.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and Korean Ambassador to India Shin Bongkil formally launched the tail production ceremony at the plant. The unit has targetted to release the first lot of its cars in the Indian market by September this year with diesel and petrol versions. However, the company will be following up with electric version cars by 2025, said Han-Woo Park, president & CEO of Kia Motors Corporation. He also presented an electric car to the AP government on the occasion.
The cars’ manufacturing unit is a prestigious achievement for Mr Naidu who initiated steps at every level including levelling of land and allocation of HNSS water through a separate channel to assist the completion of construction in the 536-acres.
The Kia SP2i model with modern design and cutting-edge-car technology launched a trial production, before the series production that will commence later in 2019.
The start of trial operations took place with a launch ceremony at the plant in presence of the Mr Naidu and Mr Shin Bongkil, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to India.
Mr Kookhyun Shim, managing director and CEO of Kia Motors India, drove the new car along with the Chief Minister in the car.
Kia also consolidated its future mobility partnership with the state government by handing over an example of the new Kia Soul EV (electric vehicle). The new EV is part of Kia’s growing portfolio of advanced, eco-friendly vehicles in promoting the uptake of EVs and developing a local EV charging infrastructure.
Mr Naidu expressed gratitude towards KIA’s efforts to start production within a year and officially announced the KIA president and CEO Mr Han Woo Park as AP Ambassador in Korea.
Mr Naidu added that the government had provided water within the stipulated time frame at the doorstep of the manufacturing unit.
Mr Han-Woo Park said, “India will play a singularly important role in expanding Kia Motors’ global footprint. Commencing trial production is a significant moment that we have been preparing for as we take on the challenges of future mobility across the country. The unit occupies 536 acres and is capable of an annual production capacity of up to 3,00,000 cars, boosting Kia’s global manufacturing capability along with creating over 3,000 direct and 7,000 indirect jobs. A US$2 billion investment by Kia and its vendor partners ensures the availability of world-standard technologies and the development of high-quality local manufacturing skills. An integrated automotive production facility, the new Anantapur plant, employs the latest production technologies, with more than 300 robots automating the press, body and paint shops.”
“This is the latest important step in our entry into the Indian automobile market. We did the construction of the site for just a couple of months more than one year ago. Globally, Kia constantly seeks out new ways to reduce consumption and minimise waste across the entire automotive life cycle. We officially begin our journey now to becoming one of the top five automakers in India by 2021,” Mr Kookhyun Shim, managing director and CEO said....