In order to be more appealing for European customers, Kia realised a decade ago it has to build cars on the Old Continent. So it opened a factory and started doing business in Europe.
Now, Kia Motors marks the tenth anniversary of production in Europe. From the official launch of volume production on 7 December 2006, over 2.5 million vehicles and 3.8 million engines have rolled off production lines at Kia Motors Slovakia in Å½ilina.
The company has invested more than 1.7 billion EUR since its arrival in Slovakia, generating over 20,000 jobs directly at the plant and among 40 of the facility’s most significant Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers.
Operating three production shifts each day, Kia alone employs approximately 3,800 people.
Kia currently manufactures the cee’d model family, Sportage and Venga at the facility, and exports to 95 countries worldwide. 14 per cent of models produced in Å½ilina are right-hand drive cars, while almost 40,000 Kia cars produced in Kia’s only European plant are present on Slovak roads.
The initial investment for building the plant represented 700 million EUR. The Korean manufacturer has continuously invested into production of new models at the facility, as well as installation of new technologies, with the company’s total investment in the region now totaling around 1.7 billion EUR. In 2016, Kia has invested 60 million EUR in Å½ilina, with plans to invest a further 130 million EUR in 2017.
In the last 10 years, the most popular model produced by Kia in Å½ilina has been the Kia cee’d model family, accounting for 45 per cent of the total number of vehicles manufactured so far, followed by the brand’s current European best-seller, the Kia Sportage. The most popular colours among customers are black, white and silver.