Kia Motors India appoints Kookhyun Shim as its new MD and CEO

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 03 Jan 2018

Kookhyun Shim: "Kia has big plans for India, a crucial market for all global automotive brands. I aim to replicate the success that Kia has seen in many other major markets.”

Kia Motors India has announced the appointment of Kookhyun Shim as its managing director and chief executive officer with immediate effect. Shim will be responsible for driving Kia Motors’ expansion in the Indian market.

Shim will play a leading role in ensuring Kia Motors India’s projected timeline and schedule of operations is achieved. He will also oversee the construction of Kia Motors’ first manufacturing facility in India, to help strengthen the company’s position in the fifth largest global automotive market. Kia’s future development in the Indian market will be supported by a US$ 1.1 billion investment.

Shim, 58, brings over 30 years’ experience in the automotive industry to his new role, having most recently served as head of Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Plant Coordination Group. Prior to this, he was responsible for the head coordinator of Kia production in Slovakia.

“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Kookhyun Shim as MD and CEO for India,” commented Han-Woo Park, President at Kia Motors Corporation. “We recognise India as a major market with huge potential for our world-class cars. We are confident that Shim’s leadership will provide the direction we need to grow our presence in what is one of the world’s biggest new car markets.”

“Kia has big plans for India,” said Kookhyun Shim, new MD and CEO of Kia Motors India. “The Indian economy is at an inflection point, and I am excited to work in an emerging market that’s forecasted to become the third largest globally by 2021. India is a crucial market for all global automotive brands, and I aim to replicate the success that Kia has seen in many other major markets.”

Kia's India plant to begin operations in H2, 2019
On April 27, 2017 Kia Motors signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the state government of Andhra Pradesh to build a new manufacturing facility in Anantapur district. The ground-breaking ceremony for the plant is likely to happen in the first quarter of 2018.


N Chandrababu Naidu, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, and Han-Woo Park, president of Kia Motors, at the MoU signing ceremony on April 27, 2017. 

Kia plans to produce a strategic compact sedan and compact SUV especially for the Indian market at the new plant, which will occupy around 23 million square feet (536 acres) and incorporate facilities for stamping, welding, painting and assembly. The site will also be home to a number of supplier companies’ facilities.

The manufacturing facility is expected to begin production in the second half of 2019 and produce approximately 300,000 units per annum.

Read more: Kia bets on design, features and reliability to woo Indian customers