- Production of the all-new Kia cee’d hatchback in Europe has started
- 20-model range of five-door cars goes on sale during December
- All-new Zilina plant set to manufacture 10,000 cee’d cars each month
(SEOUL) December 8, 2006 -- The first Kia cee’d family cars destined for customers in Europe have began to roll off the production line at Kia’s all-new manufacturing facility in Zilina, Slovakia. To mark this historic moment in Kia’s development, the first cars were given a ceremonial ‘send-off’ yesterday (Thursday, December 7th Central European Time) by Mr. Euisun Chung (Kia Motors Corporation President and CEO) and Mr. Jan Slota (Mayor of Zilina). They were assisted in this task by an enthusiastic audience of Kia employees, specially invited VIPs and Mr. John Humphrey (Senior Vice President International Operations) of the global automotive quality monitors J.D. Power & Associates.
“Today is truly a fantastic landmark in Kia’s development as a major automotive company,” commented Jean-Charles Lievens, Senior Vice President of Kia Motors Europe, speaking at the Zilina event. “The introduction of Kia cee’d will facilitate a qualitative revolution for the Kia brand. The highest standards of engineering, plus European-style aesthetics and perceived quality have been applied to every aspect of the first-ever Kia designed and manufactured in Europe. We know the Kia cee’d will be our best-ever challenger for C-segment honours.”
After the official ‘send-off’, Kia Motors Slovakia (KMS) employees and component suppliers responsible for cee’d production took part in a ‘quality pledge ceremony’ and promised to build the best quality vehicles in the world by following the KMS Quality Charter. From October 2005 to July 2006, more than 600 KMS employees completed intensive training in Korea to ensure the quality of the cee’d.
Created especially for European consumers, the Kia cee’d marks a major turning point in Kia’s history. An all-new C-segment car, the 20-model range of cee’d five-door hatchbacks will power Kia into Europe’s most closely fought market sector, offering customers a unique range of benefits in a stylish package.
Representing an investment by Kia of €1 billion, the facility at Zilina will establish new benchmarks for vehicle quality and productivity - manufacturing 100 cars per employee per year when fully operational. And it will set new standards for environmental protection. The establishment of this plant is creating 10,000 jobs in the region and Zilina will have an ultimate capacity of 300,000 units annually, including 12,500 cee’d cars each month.
Thanks to some of the world's most advanced manufacturing techniques, the Zilina plant will ensure that cee'd is a durable high-quality product and Kia will demonstrate its confidence by giving every cee'd a revolutionary 7-year / 150,000 kilometre warranty.
The Kia 7-year warranty is not a gimmick, but a long-term corporate commitment to customer care. It will be free and transferable to subsequent owners - provided the car is correctly maintained. The Kia warranty is the ‘best’ new vehicle warranty ever offered by any car manufacturer in Europe, with five-years cover of the entire car and an additional two years cover on the powertrain. It is the clearest corporate statement of Kia’s confidence in the quality, durability and reliability of Kia products made in Europe.
All across Europe, the Kia cee'd range will offer customers maximum choice - three gasoline engines and two diesels - with power outputs from 90 to 143 ps, three equipment levels (LX, EX and TX), four interior concepts, five centre-stack styles, seven different trim fabrics and 12 exterior colors.
By the end of next year there will also be three body styles to choose from. Production of the cee'd five-door 'sporty wagon' will begin in August and of the cee'd three-door 'sporty hatch' in December 2007.
During the next 12 months, the introduction of the cee'd family of models will be the most complete embodiment of Kia's three core brand values - quality, trustworthy, dynamic.
Kia cee'd ceremony 1: Mr. In-Kyu Bae, CEO of Kia Motors Slovakia (left) and Mr. Euisun Chung President & CEO of Kia Motors Corporation (right) put their signatures on the first cee’d to roll off the production line in Zilina, Slovakia on December 7, 2006.
Kia cee'd ceremony 2: Zilina Mayor Jan Slota (left in dark suit), Mr. In-Kyu Bae, CEO of Kia Motors Slovakia (to immediate left of car) and Mr. Euisun Chung President & CEO of Kia Motors Corporation (to immediate right of car), along with KMS employees, celebrate the first cee’d to come off the production line.
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com or www.kia.com) -- one of the fastest growing automakers in the world -- was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world’s premier automotive brands. Kia’s 14 manufacturing and assembly operations in 9 countries produce more than 1.3 million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 160 countries. Kia today has over 32,500 employees and annual revenues of almost $16 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an official worldwide sponsor of the Davis Cup. From 2007 to 2014, Kia will be an official automotive partner of FIFA -- the governing body of the FIFA World Cup. Kia Motors Corporation’s brand slogan -- “The Power to Surprise” --represents the company’s global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.