Hyderabad: South Korea-based Kia Motors on Thursday rolled out its production version of Seltos, its first car for India, which is manufactured at its state-of-the-art facility in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh (AP). The automobile company also announced the start of mass production of the Seltos in India after testing the vehicle for over 2 million kilometers in different climatic conditions. The car will be launched on 22 August.
The Seltos is BS-VI (Bharat Stage) emission ready and deliveries will also begin on the day of its launch. Kia Motors has also attracted bookings of over 23,000 cars within three weeks after pre-bookings began, which the company said was record-breaking. The first car was flagged off the assembly line by the Ambassador of the Republic of South Korea to India, Shin Bong-kil, and Kookhyun Shim, managing director and CEO of Kia Motors India.
AP chief minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, who was earlier supposed to attend the event, was not present and state finance minister Buganna Rajendranath attended on behalf of the state government.
“The roll-out of the first Seltos is an emotional moment for all of us, especially for the people at the plant as we worked together relentlessly to build the future of Kia Motors in India. The first Seltos is the symbol of our promise and commitment of Kia to the Indian market," said Shim during the event on Thursday.
Within the first six months of commencement of the trial production (in January 2019), Kia Motors held the world premiere of the Seltos in Delhi on 20 June. The company has now started mass production of the Seltos car in record time at its world-class manufacturing facility in Anantapur, which is spread across an enormous 536-acre facility with an annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles, said a press release from the company.
The plant in Anantapur will also be capable of producing hybrid and electric vehicles, and also houses a five-acre training facility offering a Basic Technical Course (BTC) in automobiles to provide all the skills necessary for an entry-level job on the factory floor, added the release.
The new car is available in three variants: 1.5 litre petrol, 1.5 litre diesel and 1.4 litre turbo petrol. The mid-sized SUV also offers three automatic transmission variants – 7DCT, IVT, and 6 AT, along with a 6-speed manual transmission.
Kia Motors had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Andhra Pradesh government in April 2017 to build a new manufacturing facility in Anantapur district. Construction of Kia Motors’ first manufacturing facility in India has been completed, with trial production commencing in January 2019. The manufacturing facility is expected to begin production in the second half of 2019 and produce approximately 300,000 cars per year.