Trial production begins at Kia Motors’ Anantapur plant in Andhra Pradesh

first_imgSouth Korean automaker Kia Motors has commenced trial production at its new 536-acre manufacturing facility in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh. The facility will be used for producing the SP2i SUV, which is based on the Kia SP Concept first showcased at Indian Auto Expo 2018.Trial production of the SP2i will enable Kia to synchronize and fine-tune the brand’s manufacturing equipments and technologies before series production commences later in 2019. The SUV is expected to bring Kia’s standards for quality to the Indian market, as well as the brand’s reputation for modern design and technology.If rumours are to be believed, SP2i SUV will be launched in India in the second half of 2019. It might be priced between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 16 lakh (ex-showroom) and will take on the likes of Hyundai Creta, Nissan Kicks, Renault Captur, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford Ecosport and soon-to-be launched Mahindra XUV300.There is no official word about the engine and power details of SP2i, but it is expected that it will come in both petrol and diesel variants and have manual as well as automatic transmissions. It will come in with a bold grille and projector headlamps.The automaker also strengthened its Future Mobility Partnership with the Andhra Pradesh government by handing over a new Kia Soul EV (electric vehicle), which is part of Kia’s growing portfolio of advanced and eco-friendly powertrains.Kia’s new Anantapur manufacturing facility is capable of an annual production capacity of up to 3 lakh units. It is expected to create more than 3,000 direct and 7,000 indirect jobs across the state, the company claims. An investment of USD 2 billion in the facility has been made by the automaker and its vendor partners. The new facility employs the latest production technologies, with more than 300 robots automating the press, body and paint shops.advertisementThe Anantapur manufacturing facility houses a five-acre training facility offering a basic technical course in automobile, in collaboration with the Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation, helping develop manufacturing skills among the youth. Another important aspect of the facility is safety performance during vehicle production. It is also equipped with high-end robotics and artificial intelligence technologies and uses environmentally-conscious techniques, such as 100 per cent water recycling, to fulfill the company’s responsibilities for developing sustainable and mutually-beneficial production practices.The trial operations began with a launch ceremony at the Anantapur plant, in the presence of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and South Korean Ambassador Shin Bongkil. The ceremony was also attended by Han-Woo Park, President and CEO of Kia Motors Corporation, and Kookhyun Shim, Managing Director and CEO of Kia Motors India.ALSO READ | Land Rover launches 2019 Discovery Sport Landmark Edition, price starts at Rs 53.77 lakhALSO READ | White most preferred colour choice among Indian car buyers in 2018ALSO READ | Tata Motors makes ABS standard safety feature across all Tiago and Tigor variantslast_img

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