Auto maker Kia India plans to invest Rs 2,000 crore over the next four years to scale up its presence in the electric vehicle segment, a senior company official said on Wednesday.
The South Korean firm plans to invest the capital on various elements like manufacturing and infrastructure development for EVs over the next few years. It currently sells a single battery electric model in the country and has plans to introduce a locally manufactured product in 2025.
Globally, Kia has already announced plans to drive in 14 battery electric models by 2027. In an interaction with PTI, on the sidelines of the Auto Expo, Kia India VP and Head-Sales & Marketing Hardeep Singh Brar said the company’s Andhra Pradesh-based manufacturing plant is ready to roll out EVs.
“This Rs 2,000 crore we are talking about will go into R&D, manufacturing and infrastructure development,” he noted.
The planned investment is close to one third of the total capital (over USD 1 billion) the South Korean automaker has deployed on its manufacturing set up in the country, he added.
When asked about the kind of electric models the company plans to roll out, he said: “We (Kia) have already announced globally that we will be investing USD 22 billion to come up with 14 battery electric vehicles and obviously we will be looking at some of these products for the India market as well.”
He further said: “The certainty is for one of the EVs which is going to be the mass market EV and will be made grounds up specifically for the Indian market. It will be launched in 2025. So, that is one EV which is certain as of now and as I said we are exploring more out of the portfolio which globally we are going to have by 2027.” The product may find its way to other markets as well.
On the investment timeframe, he noted that it would be in line with the company’s global investment plan stretching up to 2027. The brand further announced its entry into the purpose-built vehicles (PBVs) segment, addressing the unmet need of specialised institutions.
The company, which sells models like Seltos and Sonet, showcased a police van and an ambulance based on its model Carens.
“We feel there is a big market for purpose built vehicles and we (Kia globally) aim to be global leaders in this particular segment by 2030,” Brar said. The automaker also unveiled an all-electric SUV Concept – the Kia Concept EV9 and Kia KA4, on Wednesday.
“With the launch of EV6, we started our electrification journey in India and today, with the unveiling of the concept EV9, we are presenting our vision of the future. With KA4, we want to showcase our might in the popular UV segment,” Kia India Managing Director & CEO Tae-Jin Park noted.
With the PBVs, the company has successfully recognised an unmet need of the Indian market, offering inspiring mobility solutions for specialised institutions, he added. The company said it will be upgrading its models in time to conform to the upcoming stricter emission norms.
Kia India also announced two long-term CSR initiatives – Project DROP (Develop Responsible Outlook towards Plastic) and Project Uphaar at the 16th edition of the Auto Expo 2023.