April 19, 2017 / 7:54 AM / 5 months ago

Kia Motors executive says to announce India car factory 'soon'

The logo of Kia is seen during the 87th International Motor Show at Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean carmaker Kia Motors Corp will announce a plan for its first factory in India “soon”, vice chairman Lee Hyong-keun told reporters on Wednesday.

The comment, made on the sidelines of the Shanghai auto show, came after Kia and affiliate Hyundai Motor Co suffered a March sales slump in China, their biggest market, attributed to a political standoff and rising competition from local brands.

Kia said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that the investment size for its India plant has not been decided.

India’s Economic Times newspaper reported on Monday that the envisioned factory involves two phases with combined investment of $1.6 billion, in one of the biggest foreign direct investment projects in India.

Reuters reported in February that Kia was close to finalizing Andhra Pradesh as the site for its first Indian factory, with production scheduled to start in 2019.

Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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