Kia to invest $1.1 billion to build its first India factory

Kia Motors Co. says it will invest $1.1 billion in India to build its first plant in the world's fifth-largest auto market.

Kia said Friday that its factory in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India's southeast will be completed by late 2019 and produce up to 300,000 vehicles per year.

The maker of Optima sedan is considering making small cars and SUVs for the Indian market.

Kia, South Korea's second-largest automaker, is part of Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth-largest auto company. Its bigger affiliate Hyundai makes 650,000 vehicles in India a year. Without its own production line, Kia could not enter the market due to steep tariffs on imported cars.

The new factory will increase the portion of Kia's overseas production to nearly 60 percent from 55 percent.