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Kia ready for Slovakian production

Korea arrives in Europe: Kia's €1 billion plant in Zilina, Slovakia.

Kia builds its first European factory and will produce a small car there by 2007

Kia logo12 May 2006

By MARTON PETTENDY

KIA Motors Corporation this week announced it has completed construction of a €1 billion plant in Zilina, Slovakia, where initial production trials will begin later this month.

The news means Kia’s first manufacturing facility in Europe can begin mass production by the end of this year.

A new C-segment (small) model codenamed ED will be the first Kia to be produced in Europe specifically for European markets. It will be built alongside a small SUV.

Some 1200 employees for a first shift have already been hired and by 2009 KMS will employ up to 3000 workers in a three-shift operation that produces up to 300,000 units annually.

The Zilina plant will generate up to 10,000 jobs in the region both directly and indirectly, and will make Kia the only global car-maker to manufacture engines in Slovakia, where both petrol and diesel powerplants will be produced.

KMS says the new plant and its new HQ and design centre in Frankfurt, Germany "confirms Kia’s commitment to Europe and its determination to become an elite global automaker".

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