Kia Looks to Enter Indian Auto Market

      June 24, 2010 09:15

      Kia Motors is seeking to build a plant in India to produce 300,000 vehicles a year starting from 2012, the automaker said Wednesday.

      "We're conducting a feasibility study to select a site for the plant near Chennai," a Kia spokesperson said. "Based on data from Hyundai Motor which entered the Indian market in 1998, we're estimating costs and time to build the plant, as well as examining demand forecasts and Hyundai's sales figures there," he added.

      Hyundai currently operates two plants in Chennai with a combined annual output of 600,000 cars. Of the 560,000 units produced at the plants last year, Hyundai sold 290,000 in India, grabbing a 20-percent share of the market.

      Kia's move has been apparently motivated by its wish to find an alternative market to Europe, the destination of the majority of its exports, where demand has been sluggish due to the recession.

      Some 1.4 million passenger cars were sold in India last year, compared to 1.1 million units sold here. The Indian auto market is expected to grow to 3 million units by 2015 to become the world's fourth largest, trailing only China, the U.S. and Japan.

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