Kia Motors India has become the latest passenger vehicle manufacturer to resume production. The Korean carmaker has put in place a comprehensive regimen of safety measures at its production facility in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh as production resumes. Currently, the plant is operating a single shift and operations will begin in full force only once the COVID-19 situation in the country normalises.
The company says it has readied its facilities, putting all safety measures in place for the well-being of its employees and vendors. The state-of-the-art manufacturing plant started functioning again on May 8, 2020 to cater to both domestic and export markets after its operations were suspended following the nationwide lockdown.
Commenting on the development, Kookhyun Shim, managing director and CEO, Kia Motors India said, “As we resume production and bring processes back on track, we have introduced a comprehensive safety protocol to ensure a safe environment at our Anantapur plant to ensure all employees at our facility are protected. These are unprecedented conditions and we are committed to adapting to the new norms of the world while we work towards normalcy. Our initial focus is to keep our employees motivated, retain a positive outlook and deliver on our promises to our customers.”
Focus on clearing orders for Seltos and Carnival, readying for Sonet
He added that “Kia Motors India priorities are to clear pending orders for the best-selling Seltos and luxurious Carnival, and also to prepare the line for the eagerly anticipated compact SUV, Sonet. Our stakeholders, including suppliers and logistics partners, are all in line with the current production and have assured us support in case we have to increase production volumes over the coming days.”
Kia Motors is pinning strong hopes on the success of the Sonet in India. As per the company's Q1 FY2020 results presentation released today and reviewed by Autocar Professional, production of the Kia Sonet is slated to commence in the third quarter of CY2020, followed by the market launch either in the third quarter or fourth quarter (around Diwali festive season which is mid-November). Importantly, Kia has chalked out a sales target of 70,000 units a year for the upcoming compact SUV in year one.
Kia is targeting sale of 70,000 units of the Sonet compact SUV in year one.
Kia Motors India says it is taking all the necessary precautions to ensure physical distancing at the work environment. Health and hygiene measures such as sanitisation, distribution of masks, regular temperature checks, and medical check-up before entering the plant premises will be adhered to along with other measures including social distancing.
Kia Motors India is also pushing a number of initiatives to encourage online sales, thereby reducing physical interaction and maintaining social distancing at all times possible. A detailed guideline on dealership operations has been issued to maintain required hygiene and distancing protocols at its facilities to ensure the safety of customers and staff.
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