Kia Motors, South Korea's second-largest automobile manufacturer and a subsidiary of Korean auto giant Hyundai is looking to make its foray into the Indian market as early as possible. Emerging reports suggest that the company, which has been in talks with the state governments of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu is reportedly looking to commence operations in India by 2019.
Kia's India entry has been rumoured for a long time and it now looks like the company has finally initiated the process. A report of Business Standard says that Kia Motors has set up a research and development centre in Hyderabad. It would mainly focus on developing specific models for the Indian market.
Kia, which is known for its league of small cars, would be taking on the likes of Maruti Suzuki. Interestingly, Kia is setting its foot in the Indian market at a time when Maruti Suzuki is transforming as a premium car-maker.
Kia is yet to finalise the location for its plant in India, but plans to producing 300,000 units of vehicles in a year. Kia has three locations in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat under consideration and is likely to announce a final decision about its entry into market by September.
Previous reports had said that Kia is likely to select a location in Andhra Pradesh due to the proximity to Hyundai India's plant at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. The plant of Kia Motors would also be utilised by Hyundai for the production of some of its models.
Kia is said to have carried out several studies on the feasibility in the Indian market and is ready to make investments here. There are also reports that Tamil Nadu government has offered around 390 acres of land for the plant.