A little less than two years before it begins local production and sales in India, Korean carmaker Kia Motors is to begin meeting and shortlisting dealers for its India manufacturing programme. The move indicates the seriousness with which the company is approaching its make in India plan, considering that automobile dealers are known to be those with ears closest to the ground and the customer.
The company, which has announced a US$ 1.1 billion investment to set up a manufacturing plant in Andhra Pradesh, is to host a series of roadshows around India in August and September to meet prospective dealer partners. The Korean car manufacturer is due to commence local retail sales during the second half of 2019.
The Kia Dealer Roadshow gives prospective dealer partners the opportunity to meet executives from Kia Motors India and learn more about the cars due on sale in India from 2019. Dealers attending each event in the roadshow calendar will also learn about Kia’s business strategy and the company’s plans for establishing its new Indian dealer network.
The Kia Dealer Roadshow will visit four of India’s largest cities: Delhi (JW Marriott Aerocity, August 8-9), Mumbai (ITC Maratha, August 16-17), Bangalore (Hotel Taj West End, August 23-24) and Kolkata (Taj Bengal, September 1). Automobile dealers can register for the roadshow at www.kiaroadshowindia.com.
According to Yong S Kim, head of sales and marketing, Kia Motors India, said: “India ranks very high in our list of priorities and Kia Motors India is looking for dealers who want to be leaders – passionate and talented businesses who want to grow and succeed in partnership with the brand. India is a unique market and it’s important to Kia that we learn from those who have a deep understanding of local buyers and their needs. Like other regions where Kia already has a presence, we will offer Indian customers the highest levels of satisfaction. Our dealer partners hold the key to achieving this aim.”
“There is no clearer sign of our commitment to the Indian market than the establishment of our new manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh. This new facility will be able to produce up to 300,000 new cars each year, with a range of vehicles built exclusively for the Indian market. Worldwide demand for Kia cars is growing, and combined with the start of sales in India, the new facility marks our latest step in becoming a leading global car manufacturer.”
Compact sedan and SUV for India
In April, Kia signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Andhra Pradesh state government to build a new manufacturing facility in Anantapur District. Kia’s first production facility in the country represents a US$1.1 billion investment in India and construction is due to commence during Q4 2017. When series production commences in the second half of 2019, Kia plans to produce a strategic compact sedan and compact SUV especially for the Indian market.
The site occupies 23 million square feet and will incorporate facilities for stamping, welding, painting and assembly. It will also be home to numerous supplier companies’ facilities.
Construction of a new manufacturing facility in India will enable Kia to maintain its position as one of the world’s fastest-growing automobile brands. The new facility in Anantapur will enable the company to start selling its models in India, and benefit from further sustainable sales growth, locally and internationally. Furthermore, the region’s fast-developing supply chain network and skilled labor force were other key reasons for the new investment by Kia Motors.
India is the fastest growing major new car market and the fifth largest in the world, with more than 3.3 million new cars sold in 2016. Forecasts suggest the country will become the third-largest car market by the end of 2020.