Kia made 10 percent more cars at its Slovakia plant in H1 image

Kia Motors has announced it produced 149,400 cars at its Slovakia plant in the first half of the year, accounting for an increase of 10 percent over the same period last year.

Kia’s Zilina facility also built 237,000 engines in the same period. As a consequence, the South Korean carmaker expects to make more that 285,000 cars this year at its Slovakia plant. Last year, Kia built 252,000 vehicles in the former communist country.

According to Eek-Hee Lee, CEO of the Zilina plant, output growth came from European and Russian demand for the Sportage SUV, the Venga MPV and the Cee’d compact car. Kia’s facility in Slovakia makes up over 10 percent of the company’s global production.

Around 20 percent of the cars made by Kia in Slovakia go to Russia, 12 percent to the United Kingdom and 11 percent to France. The company is among Slovakia’s biggest exporters, an important achievement given the fact that Volkswagen and PSA Peugeot Citroen also have production facilities in the country.

The Slovak auto industry is a key element of the country’s economy, which relies heavily on exports. The auto segment makes up as much as 13 percent of Slovakia’s GDP.