New Delhi: Despite the fact car market is reeling under pressure, the two new entrants Kia and MG Motors are on an expansion spree. In an attempt to clear the waiting-list backlog, these companies are increasing their production capacities and hiring new employees after registering near blockbuster openings.
Kia Motors began its sales in August this year. Uptil now, it has received bookings of more than 50,000 units and delivered around 14,000 units. This South Korean company has set up its one of the plants in Andhra Pradesh with a cumulative investment of over two billion dollar, is maximising its output fast.
"We have started the second shift at the plant, and are ramping overall production numbers from 1 lakh units annually to 2 lakh units," Kookhyun Shim, MD & CEO of Kia India, told the national publication. It may be noted that at present company is selling the Seltos SUV in India and soon this will be joined in by new models.
"The first one to come in next will be the Carnival MPV, and this will be showcased at the Greater Noida Auto Expo in February," Shim said. The company is also planning to come up with a new mini SUV and this will be positioned below Seltos. As per the Kia India MD, the company has registered a strong opening in India owing to a wider sales and service reach, and aggressive pricing.
The British brand, MG Motors, a subsidiary of Chinese auto major SAIC is hiring 500 people at its Gujarat factory. The company has started to ramp up its capacity from 2,500 units monthly to around 4,500 units (in phases), president and MD Rajeev Chaba said. "We have delivered around 7,000 units so far, and the pending order-book is to the tune of 24,000 units. We are expanding rapidly to clear the waiting list," Chaba said.
Worth mentioning here is that the company is selling Hector SUV in India and has managed to receive 8,000 orders in its second round of bookings despite increasing the prices by 2.5 per cent. "However, we are protecting the price on all the previous bookings." The company is all set to launch its first electric car in India and its cost is likely to be between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 25 lakh.
This growth for the auto companies has come at a time when the automobile industry is going through on of its worst slowdown. Carmakers like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Mahindra, Tata Motors and Honda Cars, sales have plunged to historic lows despite launching new models and offering attractive discounts.