Kia Motors India on Monday has announced that it has resumed production at the Anantapur plant after a month-long shutdown in accordance with the lockdown announced by the Government of India in a bid to contain the spread of the Coronavirus.
In a press release statement, Kia Motors stated that it has put in place a comprehensive regimen of safety measures at its production facility in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh as production resumes. Currently, the plant is operating a single shift and operations will begin in full force only once the COVID-19 situation in the country normalises.
The press statement added that the company invested the initial few days to ready its facilities, putting all safety measures in place for the well-being of its employees and vendors. The state-of-the-art manufacturing plant started functioning again on May 8, 2020, to cater to both domestic and export markets after its operations were suspended following the nationwide lockdown announced by the Government of India. All the necessary permissions from the Andhra Pradesh Government and Anantapur local municipal corporation were taken before operations resumed at the Kia Motors India manufacturing facility.
Commenting on the development, Mr Kookhyun Shim, Managing Director & CEO, Kia Motors India said, “As we resume production and bring processes back on track, we have introduced a comprehensive safety protocol to ensure a safe environment at our Anantapur plant to ensure all employees at our facility are protected. These are unprecedented conditions and we are committed to adapting to the new norms of the world while we work towards normalcy. Our initial focus is to keep our employees motivated, retain a positive outlook and deliver on our promises to our customers.”
He further added that the South Korean car maker’s priorities are to clear pending orders for the best-selling Seltos and the Carnival, and also to prepare the line for the eagerly anticipated compact SUV, Sonet. The company’s stakeholders, including suppliers and logistics partners, are all in-line with the current production and have assured us support in case we have to increase production volumes over the coming days.
Other Safety Measures Undertaken
Kia Motors India is taking all the necessary precautions to ensure physical distancing at the work environment. Health and hygiene measures such as sanitization, distribution of masks, regular temperature checks, and medical check-up before entering the plant premises, etc. will be adhered to.
In addition to this, the company is also taking the following measures to ensure maximum safety of its employees and issued an advisory about the same:
- Social distancing in areas like canteen, team meeting areas, walkways, meeting rooms, washrooms, water dispensing areas, etc.
- Disinfecting the common computers, biometric systems and spraying disinfectants at all common areas
- Wearing a mask at all times is mandatory for all employees until they reach their homes.
- As adherence to State Government directives, interstate and inter-district employees are not being called
- Practising social distancing while travelling to office in company-run buses.
Kia Motors India has taken up several initiatives to encourage online sales, thereby reducing physical interactions and maintaining social distancing at all times possible. A detailed guideline on dealership operations has been issued to maintain required hygiene and distancing protocols at its facilities to ensure the safety of customers and staff. As a step towards spreading awareness about the global pandemic, the brand also came up with the #RewindKia campaign, urging everyone to stay home and be safe.
Kia Motors next focus will be the launch of the sub-4 metre compact SUV named Sonet. The Sonet will be a sub-compact SUV based on the same platform as the Hyundai Venue, rivalling the likes of Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Ford EcoSport. It will likely come with two petrol engines and a diesel engine option. It is slated to arrive later this year around the festive season.