A third production shift will be introduced at Kia's European production facility in Slovakia, recruiting 1000 new employees in order to keep up with rising demand. Recruitment will be completed by December 2011, allowing three-shift operations at Zilina in the first quarter of 2012.
"The creation of the third shift at Zilina is the latest step in Kia’s long-term process of building cars locally to best meet local consumers' needs and tastes," commented Paul Philpott, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe. "Strong demand for all our models and especially our new Sportage compact SUV, made here in Europe, means we need to significantly increase production at our Slovakia facility."
The Zilina plant represents an investment of over 1 billion Euro and is designed for maximum flexibility in order to accommodate new models and respond to market trend fluctuations. The Kia Sportage, Venga MPV and cee'd family can be manufactured simultaneously on each of the final assembly lines.
Kia manufactured over 729,000 vehicles outside Korea last year, with production in Europe, China and the USA accounting for 2.1 million units, 34.2 per cent of the global total. Sales have risen 18.7 per cent in Europe this year, 24.4 per cent in China and 36.9 per cent in the USA. The increased US demand prompted a third shift at Kia's West Point, Georgia plant, building the Kia Sorento and Optima.
In Zilina, the 1000 jobs will cover all stages of the manufacturing process, mainly requiring skilled candidates with a technical background. It is expected that several thousand new jobs will be created at component suppliers across the Slovak Republic as a result.
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