Kia Breaks Ground At Its First European Auto Plant

Kia, Europe’s fastest growing car company, has begun construction of its first European car plant in the Slovak Republic.

The Euro1 billion (£690 million) plant will have the capacity to build up to 300,000 cars a year at the site in Zilina and will employ 2,800 people directly and will include an engine production plant. A supplier park will employ a further 3,000 people and will represent a further Euro 2 billion (£1.5 billion) investment.

The groundbreaking ceremony involved K.J. Yoon, President of Kia Motors, H.Y. Choi, President of the Strategy Coordination Office along with Mr Pavol Rusko, Vice-Premier and Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic.

All of the vehicles to be produced at this plant will be Kia models to be sold by Kia’s UK and European dealer network. All-new models currently under development specifically for the UK and European market will be built in Slovakia: one B-class model and one C-class model, both in vehicle segments that are the most popular in Europe. Production is expected to begin in 2006.

Mr Paul Williams, Managing Director of Kia Motors (UK) Limited, attending the event said: "In the UK we are seeing dramatic interest in the Kia brand and last year we were the fastest growing car company in the UK – as well as throughout Europe and this factory will play a significant role in continuing that performance.

"With all-new models being designed in Europe and built in Europe we will be even more able to meet the demands of the growing number of independently-minded UK motorists who are turning to Kia."

Published 10 April 2004 Melanie Carter

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