Kia needs India plant to get over slow sales in Russia and China image

Kia is in need of building a factory in India as to offset the slow sales in Russia and China according to Korea’s newspaper Dong-A Ilbo quoting the carmaker’s CEO, Park Han-woo.

With India being expected to become the world’s third biggest auto market by 2016, Kia might get on new territory with a plant here. The automaker currently has no production in India and the high import taxes represent negligible sales for Kia in India.

Hyundai Motor Co., which has Kia as an affiliate, has already two plants in India and it is the country’s second largest automaker after Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.
A former chief of Hyundai Motor’s Indian unit stated for the paper that while growth in Russia or China is at a pause for the moment, India is the place for Kia to make the ultimate leap forward.

The report did not give any more details and a Kia spokesman said when contacted that the automaker does not have any “current plans to build a new factory in India or enter the market.

Kia has recently announced they have hit a record-setting year with their December sales at the end of last year and the highest annual sales in the company’s history of 580,234 vehicles.

As Michael Sprague, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Kia Motors America, said, the Kia brand has transformed and matured in a leader in design, quality, technology and value. So we can only wait and see if Kia would expand to India. Park Han-woo also said that Kia was developing a rival for Toyota Motor’s Prius, giving no further information

By Gabriela Florea