South Korean car maker, and a subsidiary of Hyundai, Kia Motors announced today the appointment of top level management. Kookhyun Shim is their new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Manohar Bhat as Head of Marketing & Sales and Yong S. Kim as Executive Director, effective immediately.
This news comes in time ahead of the 2018 Auto Expo, where Kia will be having their first interaction with the public, their future customers. It is here that the company is expected to reveal their road map for India and what all cars it plans to launch in India.
“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Kookhyun Shim as MD & CEO for India,” commented Han-Woo Park, President at Kia Motors Corporation. “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.”
“Kia has big plans for India,” commented Kookhyun Shim, new MD & CEO of KMI. “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. Kia’s brand slogan, ‘The Power to Surprise’, will be present in everything we do here.”
“The appointments of Manohar Bhat and Yong S. Kim to pivotal senior roles at KMI is the next step in forming an experienced top management team who will realize KMI’s vision and the big plans we have for India,” commented Mr. Kookhyun Shim, MD & CEO of KMI. “Kia is a car brand associated globally with being dynamic, youthful and extremely stylish. With a positive can-do attitude lying at the heart of everything that we do, Manohar is a perfect fit for our brand ethos and I am confident he will take us from strength to strength”, he added.
Commenting on his joining KMI, Mr. Bhat said, “It is indeed a challenging role and I am excited about making Kia the preferred choice in all segments across India. We are confident that we will be not only capture substantial market-share once we launch the brand, but also be a player who delights and has the power to surprise its new Indian customers.”
Though Kia has not revealed what cars will be showcased at the Auto Expo, it is expected that the Kia Provo Concept may be revealed while Kia Stinger will also be on display. Kia Picanto and Kia Rio Sedan are also two models in the company lineup which could make their way to India.
Kia Motors is also in the process of setting up a local plant at Anantapur District in Andhra Pradesh. Work on this new plant commenced last year. This upcoming plant is being built at an investment of US$1.1 billion and will have annual production of 300,000 cars with a range of vehicles built exclusively for the Indian consumer.
Production is set to commence from mid 2019. The plant will be spread over 23 million sq ft and will house various facilities which will include stamping, welding, painting and assembly.