Kia Motors says to invest $1.1 billion to build first Indian factory

They have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Andhra Pradesh state government to build a new manufacturing facility in Anantapur District in the state.

India is the fastest growing major new vehicle market and the fifth largest in the world, with more than 3.3 million new cars sold in 2016.

Hyundai is a brand which has been known for its design philosophy and Kia Motors falls under the same bracket.

"The Chinese market in the first quarter was hard due to Kia's conflict with local dealers and the ongoing political issue that dropped consumer demand", Han Chun-soo, Kia's chief financial officer, said during a conference call after the automaker's first-quarter earnings report. In an official statement released, the automaker has revealed that it is aiming to set up a manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh, while mass production of its cars in India is expected to commence from 2019. The worldwide demand for Kia cars is growing and this is its latest step towards becoming a leading global vehicle manufacturer.

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"Frosty ties between Korea and China, a sluggish global economy, the stronger won and deteriorating models offered are some difficulties Kia Motors is faced with", Kia Motors said. Earlier this month, Hyundai and Kia recalled 1.4 million cars in U.S., Canada and South Korea due to possible engine failures. Besides the main factory, the site will house the ancillary parts factories to facilitate smooth operations. Kia will start marketing its cars in late 2019.

Volkswagen - the world's biggest automaker - announced a "strategic alliance" with India's Tata Motors last month, while Japanese rivals Toyota and Suzuki plan to team up to develop new technologies in the country. The country is expected to emerge as the third biggest market in the world by 2020, with annual volume of five million units. It has been eyeing an India market entry for a few years now.

Kia also has hybrid and electric vehicles on offer in some countries. KIA Motors sells several models, Sportage, Optima, Cadenza, Soul, globally and has manufacturing facilities in Korea and Mexico.

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