Hyderabad: The State Government has plunged into a damage control exercise, over the news story that appeared on Reuters with the headline –“Kia motors moving $1.1 billion India plant out of Andhra Pradesh-Sources”. In a communique on Thursday, the Special Chief Secretary (Industries and Commerce) Dr Rajat Bhargava had stated that the Government of Tamil Nadu has denied the news report. “The Principal Secretary (Industries and Commerce), Tamil Nadu has conveyed that they are not in talks with the Kia Motors and that there were no discussion between the two parties in this regard,” Rajat Bhargava explained.
“Kia Motors also denied that the report about the shifting their plant out of Andhra Pradesh and mentioned that their operations in the State of Andhra Pradesh are doing extremely well,” he added. It may be recalled that Kia Motors, had commenced trial production at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Anantapur, on January 29, last year. Exactly a year after the commencement of the production, the Reuters had published a story that Kia is not happy with the non-cooperative attitude of the Jagan Mohan Reddy Government, in taking forward its operations.
It may be noted that the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu had launched the Kia Motors trial production on January 29, last year. Shin Bongkil, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to India, Mr. Han-Woo Park, President and CEO of Kia Motors Corporation, and Mr. Kookhyun Shim, Managing Director and CEO of Kia Motors- India were present on the occasion. Kia’s Anantapur manufacturing facility occupies 536 acres and is capable of an annual production capacity of up to 3,00,000 units. The plant is poised to create over 3,000 direct and 7,000 indirect jobs across the Andhra Pradesh region. A US$ 2 billion investment by Kia and its vendor partners have ensured the availability of world-standard technologies and the development of high-quality local manufacturing skills. The Kia motors plant has employed the latest production technologies, with more than 300 robots automating the press, body and paint shops.
Naidu, who had participated in the trial launch, has expressed his wish on that day that he would be attending the actual launch programme in the month of October, 2019, in the capacity of Chief Minister again. However, he lost the election and Jagan Mohan Reddy led YSRCP has formed the Government, in the month of May, last year. In the wake of political rivalry between YSRCP and TDP in that region, both the parties have been blaming each other over providing employment opportunities to the locals in Kia Motors. In fact, the YSRCP has suspected the ‘script’ of TDP behind the Reuters news story, which has tarnished the image of the State of Andhra Pradesh, at the global level.