Kia Plans to Manufacture 290,000 Vehicles in Slovakia image

Kia announced it plans to manufacture 290,000 vehicles this year in Slovakia, a little under its record of 292,000 units made in 2012.

The European market continues to be affected by the euro zone crisis, which left automakers struggle with sluggish consumer demand. Even if there are few signs of recovery expected in 2013, Kia still aims at manufacturing 290,000 vehicles in Slovakia this year.

Production at the automaker’s Zilina plant, located in northern Slovakia, increased 15% in 2012 surpassing the initially planned 285,000 units. The facility has an annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles. Kia manufactures in Slovakia versions of the Kia Sportage SUV, the Cee’d small family car and Kia Venga mini car designed for Russia and Europe. The automaker also plans to add a new version of the Cee’d during the first quarter of 2013.

“We plan, also thanks to this (new Cee’d), to manufacture 290,000 cars in 2013,” Eek-Hee Lee, head of Kia Slovakia, said on Thursday, January 10th.

Last year engine production increased 29% to 464,000 units, and Kia plans to continue the growth to 490,000 units this year. Kia Slovakia, which is one of the country’s most important exporters, also announced it might begin exporting to Africa.