Kia Motors India today made an announcement of making Kookhyun Shim as the new managing director and chief executive officer. He will be taking charge of his new role in India with immediate effect. The company states that Shim will play a leading role in ensuring KMI's projected timeline and schedule of operations is achieved. He will also oversee the construction of Kia Motor's first manufacturing facility in India, to help strengthen the company's position in the fifth largest global automotive market.
Kia's future development in the Indian market will be supported by a US$ 1.1 billion investment. Shim served as Head of Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Plant Coordination Group. Prior to this, he was responsible for the head coordinator of Kia production in Slovakia.
Shim mentioned, The Indian economy is at an inflection point, and I am excited to work in an emerging market that's forecasted to become the third largest globally by 2021. India is a crucial market for all global automotive brands, and I aim to replicate the success that Kia has seen in many other major markets".
We recognize India as a major market with huge potential for our world-class cars. We are confident that Shim's leadership will provide the direction we need to grow our presence in what is one of the world's biggest new car markets.", commented Han-Woo Park, President at Kia Motors Corporation.
Kia will enter India officially in 2019 and it is likely to do this with a sub-4m SUV. SUVs, in fact, according to Schreyer what the Indian market wants most of all. Kia also confirmed that it is developing India-centric products as well and these will also show up in time in India. The sub-4m SUV, for instance, is a new car for Kia - it doesn't extend in its current range. Schreyer indicated that SUVs-aside, the demand Kia is seeing in India is for sedans because they look big and spacious.
Kia's entry into India has been simmering on the news burner for a while. Back in April, Kia had announced that it will be setting up a manufacturing plant in Andhra Pradesh. The company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Andhra Pradesh to build its facility in Anantapur district.