- Kia concludes new technical cooperation agreement with Saipa of Iran for knockdown manufacturing
- Annual production and sales of 100,000 Rios to start in early 2005
- With 32% market share, Kia is already the leading car brand in Iran
(SEOUL) July 21, 2004 ? Kia Motors Corporation today announced that its popular Rio compact sedan will be assembled and sold in the Iranian market beginning early next year. Under the agreement between Kia and its Iranian partner, Saipa Corporation (which already locally produces the Kia Pride subcompact model), Saipa will assemble the compact Rio SF sedan on a knockdown basis (i.e. disassembled kits exported by Kia for local production by Saipa).
Accordingly, Saipa will install new production facilities at its Tehran plant and will start manufacturing in early 2005. The company expects to assemble some 100,000 Rio SFs annually. Coupled with annual production of 200,000 Pride subcompacts, the Tehran facility will have an annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles.
Kia’s knockdown business in Iran working with Saipa began in 1993; since then, a total of 739,875 Prides have been assembled and sold as of June of this year.
At the contract signing ceremony, S.H. Amiri, Vice President of Saipa Corp., said, “Over the past 12 years, Kia Motors has emerged as the most trusted car company in Iran. I fully expect that the Rio SF, with its top-notch quality and refined design, will far exceed the past success achieved by the Pride.”
Given that the import of completely assembled vehicles is prohibited in Iran, prospects remain bright for the compact passenger car business on a knockdown basis. In particular, 196,864 of the 600,000 automobiles assembled and sold in Iran last year were Kia Prides, giving the popular model a 32% share of the market and cementing itself as the number one selling passenger car in Iran.
Kia Motors expects to sell 240,000 Prides in Iran by the end of the year, a 22% increase over the previous year. With the timely introduction of the Rio SF building on the stellar performance and brand enhancement achieved by the Pride, Kia Motors looks to consolidate its position as the leading passenger car company in Iran.
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.