VIENNA – ZAO ZAZ, the Ukrainian car manufacturer owned by OAO Ukrainskaya Avtomobilnaya Korporatsya (UkrAvto), begins assembly this month of Kia Motors Corp. cars from semi-knocked-down kits.

The production start follows the takeover of Kia imports in April by UkrAvto from Korporatsya Bogdan, which assembled Kia vehicles from SKD kits at its plants in Lutsk and Cherkassy.

The Kia Cee’d model range and Sportage compact cross/utility vehicle manufactured at Kia Motors Slovakia s.r.o., are among the first Kia cars to be assembled at the ZAZ plant in Zaporozhye. Other Kia models may follow.

UkrAvto uses its Polish car factory, Fabryka Samochodow Osobowych S.A., in Warsaw as an intermediary stop in the transportation of Slovak-built Kia cars to Ukraine.

The vehicles are taken apart and packed into SKD kits at FSO and later reassembled at ZAZ.

ZAZ manufactures the ZAZ Slavuta and Pickup and ZAZ/Chevrolet Lanos. In addition to Kia vehicles, it also assembles several Chery, Chevrolet, Opel and Lada brands from SKD and complete-knocked-down kits.

However, the assembly of some models has been interrupted as a result of the global recession.