A pair of Asia’s carmakers has this week announced they’ll be spreading their automotive wings with two new plants in two new markets.
The first is Kia, which says India’s position as the fifth-largest new car market in the world is too limportant to ignore.
As such, the Korean carmaker will begin work on a new factory for India in Q4 of this year, which is expected to be operating at its maximum annual capacity of 300,000 cars per year in 2019.
Kia says a memorandum of understanding has been reached with the state government of Andhra Pradesh, and the new plant carries a price tag of US$1.1 billion.
“We are delighted to announce that Kia’s newest manufacturing facility will be here in Andhra Pradesh,” Kia President, Han-Woo Park, said.
“It will enable us to sell cars in the world’s fifth largest market, while providing greater flexibility for our global business. Worldwide demand for Kia cars is growing and this is our latest step towards becoming a leading global car manufacturer.”
A “strategic compact sedan and compact SUV especially for the Indian market” are the two models on the table for the new plant at this stage, so customers in Australia are unlikely to be offered any Indian-built Kias before the next decade.
While fifth on the list right now, Kia says the Indian new car market will be the world’s third-largest by 2020.
Meanwhile Mitsubishi is also investing in new manufacturing facilities with a new plant inaugurated this week in Indonesia.
The AU$565 million plant will employ 3000 workers, with maximum capacity rated at 160,000 vehicles per year.
With the support of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, which purchased a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi last year, the Indonesian plant is the next step in Mitsubishi’s plan for greater coverage in the ASEAN region. The carmaker predicts Indonesia’s new car market will grow over the coming years.
Rolling down the production line will be the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, the Colt L300 commercial van (no longer offered in Australia) and an “all-new seven-seater multi-purpose vehicle (MPV)”.
Production at the new plant has already begun.
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