File photo used for representational purpose. (Bloomberg)
File photo used for representational purpose. (Bloomberg)

Coronavirus: Kia suspends operations at one of India's biggest car factories

  • Kia has temporarily suspended all its operations with immediate effect over coronavirus concerns.
  • The suspension also includes work at Kia's 23 million square feet factory in Anantpur (AP) which was inaugurated in December of 2019.

Kia Motors India on Monday announced it has temporarily suspended all its operations across the country owing to coronavirus pandemic concerns. This includes halting production at its Anantpur factory which was inaugurated in December of 2019 at at investment of approximately $1.1 billion.

The Kia facility at Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh is one of the biggest in India and is spread across 23 million square feet. It employes several state-of-the-art machinery, including 450 robots, and has helped generate close to 12,000 direct and indirect jobs. The plant now will remain shut as Kia says safety of all its employees is paramount.

(Also read: From Maruti to Hyundai: Coronavirus in India forces carmakers to halt production)

In a press statement, the South Korean auto maker, which made its India debut in 2019 with the enormously successful Seltos SUV, informed that its India operations stand temporarily suspended. "In view of the unprecedented situation arising out of the spread of COVID-19 and keeping in mind the safety and well-being of all our consumers, employees, workers, partners, and associates pan India, Kia Motors India has decided to suspend all its operations with immediate effect," the statement informed. "With this, company’s manufacturing facility in Anantapur (Andhra Pradesh) and company office premises will stop functioning until further notice."

Kia also mentioned that all its dealerships 'remain on call and are available to our customers for all their requirements via all our digital channels.'

As for existing orders, Kia said it is trying to ensure that new cars adhere to timeline given to customers. It is also ensuring service requirements are attended to while keeping the focus on overall safety of employees as well as customers.

Kia has stated that it will continue to monitor the developments closely and is connected with all concerned authorities and administration.