Kia Motors is to build a major new car manufacturing facility in Europe to produce high-volume models that will meet increasing demand from UK motorists.
The factory represents an investment of €700 million and will be owned and managed by Kia Motors. Building up to 200,000 Kia cars annually the factory will help maintain the company’s position as Britain’s fastest growing car company.
"The creation of a Kia manufacturing facility in Europe is a very significant step in the growth and development of our company," commented Yong-Hwan Kim, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Corporation, speaking during the world premiere of the Kia Cerato 5-door at the Geneva Motor Show.
"More and more customers in Europe are turning to the Kia brand thanks to the outstanding value of our new and appealing products. Our European factory will enable us to continue our strong growth in the region and to build on the 2% market share that we intend to capture in Europe by late 2005," continued COO Kim.
Kia Motors UK Managing Director Paul Williams said: "This is tremendous news for us and for all our dealers and customers. The factory will build products specifically designed for our customers and will help us keep up the momentum that saw us record the best growth figures in the UK market last year."
Kia’s new facility will be located near the city of Zilina, 200 kilometres north east of Bratislava, in Slovakia. The new facility will cover 150 hectares, with 160,000 square metres floor area. Staff levels at the plant will rise to 2,400 people when production is at full capacity. The ground-breaking ceremony is scheduled for early April 2004, with first cars coming off the production line in November 2006.
"As well as supplying top-quality Kia cars for our expanding European dealer network, our new factory will open doors to new market sectors and will help to establish Kia even more securely in the European marketplace. We are confident that 500,000 annual sales and a 3% market share in Europe will be within our grasp by 2008," concluded COO Kim.
Annual production rate at the Zilina plant is planned to reach 100,000 during 2007 and 200,000 by the end of 2008. Output will be split evenly between B-segment cars (both 3-door and 5-door models) and C-segment cars (3-door, 5-door and estate models) with gasoline and diesel engines.
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