This year Kia Motors expects output in Slovakia to rise 13% following British, Russian, and German demand for the sport utility vehicle and compact car models.
One of the euro zone’s biggest exporters is Kia Slovakia, which operates an assembly plant in the northern Slovak town of Zilina with an annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles. In 2011 car production rose 10% to 252,000 units leaving behind its pre-crisis output peak of 201,000 cars in 2008 for a second consecutive year.
“We plan to manufacture more than 285,000 cars this year despite an unfavorable situation in European markets, taking advantage of our models portfolio,” declared Dusan Dvorak, Kia Motors Slovakia spokesman.
The company plans to invest about 110 million euros in 2012 to launch a new Kia Cee’d model, which is expected to go online in April. Kia produces two SUV models in Slovakia, a compact model Kia Cee’d and small size compact model Kia Venga. 2006 was the year when Kia launched mass production in Slovakia, now employing more than 3,900 workers.
The Slovak car industry, among the assembly plants of VW and PSA Peugeot Citroen, is considered part of key drivers of the heavily export-reliant economy, which rose by 3.3% in 2011.