Kia Motors’ European manufacturing facility – the €1 billion operation at Zilina in Slovakia – is operating so efficiently that production of the new Kia Pro-cee’d has begun six weeks ahead of schedule.
The new three-door Kia Pro-cee’d, which made its World Premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, marks a major expansion of the cee’d range and will arrive in UK showrooms in February.
“The build quality and the productivity levels achieved by our Zilina operations are quite remarkable,” asserted Mr In-Kyu Bae, President and CEO Kia Motors Slovakia (KMS). “These two factors, plus the skills and versatility of our workforce, have enabled us to bring forward assembly of the first customer Pro-cee’d cars by six weeks.”
Mr Jean-Charles Lievens, Senior Vice President Kia Motors Europe, added “Since its launch in Europe in December 2006, orders for more than 100,000 cee’d five-door models have been received, and this model, with its 5-Star Euro NCAP safety rating, has played a key role in raising Kia brand awareness as well as sales. Now, the introduction of the Kia Pro-cee’d will expand our appeal to a different audience and will attract numerous European consumers who find three-door cars particularly attractive and who have not yet considered our products.”
The Kia Pro-cee’d has an extended nose, a shallower front grille, new-style headlamps, a wider bumper with a prominent lip spoiler, a deeper central air intake and larger fog lights. The windscreen is much shallower and the doors are 276 mm longer with a unique design. The side profile is truly distinctive, with a beltline that rises much more steeply towards the rear of the car. Despite its lowered, more sporty appearance, Pro-cee’d provides generous legroom front and rear, and luggage capacity is a class-leading 340 litres with the rear seats upright – the same as its five-door sister car.
With a highly-trained staff of 2,600 employees working two shifts, Zilina is now building four different Kia models – cee’d five-door hatchback, cee’d Sporty Wagon, Pro-cee’d three-door and Sportage SUV – on the same assembly lines.
Kia is confident that its Zilina facility will now go forwards to establish new benchmarks for vehicle quality and productivity – manufacturing 100 cars per employee per year when fully operational and becoming the most productive car plant in Europe.Published 6 November 2007