Kia Motors India on Monday announced that it had resumed production at its Anantpur (Andhra Pradesh) facility by keeping all safety and hygiene procedures in check. While the resumption will take some time before reaching full capacity levels, the South Korean auto maker has said that the priority for now is on the well being of employees here.
The state-of-the-art plant at Anantpur had been inaugurated on December 5 after Kia made a massive investment of $1.1 billion. Construction had started in 2017 and the plant became home to the company's first offering in India - Seltos.
The plant resumed operations on May 8 after weeks of work suspension due to the national lockdown put into place to check the spread of Covid-19. As such, Kia has informed the first few days since May 8 were used to ready its facilities, putting all safety measures in place for the well-being of its employees and vendors. All the necessary permissions from the Andhra Pradesh Government and Anantapur local municipal corporation were taken before operations resumed at the Kia Motors India manufacturing facility.
Kookhyun Shim, Managing Director & CEO, Kia Motors India, has said that the focus currently is on balancing employees' well being and meeting expectations of customers. "These are unprecedented conditions and we are committed to adapting to the new norms of the world while we work towards normalcy. Our initial focus is to keep our employees motivated, retain a positive outlook and deliver on our promises to our customers," he said in a press statement issued by the company.
Shim also outlined the priorities moving forward. "“Kia Motors India priorities are to clear pending orders for the best-selling Seltos and luxurious Carnival, and also to prepare the line for the eagerly anticipated compact SUV, Sonet," he said. "Our stakeholders, including suppliers and logistics partners, are all in-line with the current production and have assured us support in case we have to increase production volumes over the coming days."
Work resumption for now is on a single-shift basis with temperature checks, masks' distribution, social distancing, disinfecting common computers and biometrics, etc in place.
Kia entered the Indian market in 2019 with the launch of the extremely successful Seltos. The company then launched Carnival MPV earlier this year and is now bracing to enter the extremely lucrative compact SUV segment with Sonet.