TEPLICKA NAD VAHOM, Slovakia – Slovak Prime Minister Iveta Radicova and Kia Motors Slovakia management inaugurate a second engine plant here.
The factory, with annual capacity of 150,000 units, will increase Kia’s total production in Slovakia by 50%, to 450,000 a year.
The auto maker expects full additional capacity will be reached in 2012 or 2013.
Kia invested more than €100 million ($135 million) in the second engine shop, which employs about 160 people but eventually will increase to 270.
The 300,000-sq.-ft. (28,000-sq.-m) building is designed for production of 300,000 units. With additional machinery and assembly equipment Kia Motors Slovakia could boost capacity another 150,000 engines a year, but currently there are no plans to do so.
While the auto maker’s first engine shop manufactures 1.4L and 1.6L gasoline engines and 1.4L, 1.6L and 1.7L diesel powerplants, the second shop will produce 1.4L and 1.6L gasoline versions.
Most engines made at the new plant will be shipped to theMotor Mfg. Czech plant in Nosovice in the neighboring Czech Republic.
The new shop includes three machining lines for cylinder blocks, cylinder heads and crankshafts. The flexible assembly line has a 35% level of automation and can accommodate four different types of engines.
The new facility already manufactures Gamma MPI and Gamma GDI engines. It plans to add Gamma D-CVVT powerplants by Dec. 1 and Kappa MPI engines later.
Unlike the other auto makers with plants in Slovakia (Peugeot Citroen and ), Kia is the only company that also produces engines in the Central European nation.
Kia Motors Slovakia has produced more than 1.1 million engines since launching in November 2006, with more than 40% exported to’s Czech plant.