- Zilina region of Slovakia selected; 2,400 jobs to be created
- Kia to invest €700 million in 200,000 annual capacity facility
- Kia is the fastest growing automotive brand in Europe
(Geneva) March 2, 2004 - Kia Motors Corporation has selected the Zilina region of the Slovak Republic as the home of its first-ever European assembly plant. Kia will invest a total of €700 million in the new facility, which will have an annual production capacity of 200,000 units per year and create 2,400 jobs. Construction will commence in the autumn of this year and vehicles will roll-off the line by the end of 2006.
The decision by Kia to build the European facility was based on past and projected strong sales and market share growth in the European market. Kia is currently Europe’s fastest-growing automotive brand, and one of the fastest-growing in the world. Last year in Europe, Kia sold a record 150,000 vehicles and this year plans to export over 240,000 vehicles.
“Our decision to build a new plant in Slovakia reflects Kia’s strong commitment to the European market and to meeting the increasing demand of European consumers for our products,” said Kia Motors Senior Executive Vice-President and COO Yong-Hwan Kim. “Our new European plant will allow us to manufacture more vehicles more quickly for this growing market and get them to our customers more efficiently,” he said.
“Kia is in the process of doing more vehicle design and engineering in Europe so that our products will be even better suited to European styles and sensibilities,” he added.
Kia’s new European plant will manufacture all-new models currently under development specifically for the European market. Once the new plant is in full production, Kia is expected to boost its overall European sales for both vehicles imported from Korea and built on-site in Slovakia to a total of 500,000 vehicles by 2008. Also participating in Kia’s European plant project will be 7-8 Korean automotive parts suppliers, including Hyundai Mobis.
“This has been a methodically organized selection process where literally hundreds of different factors were taken into consideration. We have carefully evaluated each candidate country against a very detailed set of criteria,” said Mr. Kim. “In the end, Slovakia proved to be the best match with our needs.”
Founded in 1944 and now celebrating its 60th anniversary, Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com) is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of automobiles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia is among the world’s fastest growing automobile companies and aims to be a top five global automaker by 2010. Kia’s 15 manufacturing and assembly operations in 12 countries make more than a million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 190 countries. Kia today has 30,000 employees and annual revenues of $12 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an international sponsor of the Davis Cup.