TEPLICKA NAD VAHOM, Slovakia – Kia Motors Slovakia launches volume production of the second-generation Kia cee’d compact 5-door hatchback at its plant here.
The cee’d model family is manufactured solely in Slovakia and destined for all European markets.
While production of the first-generation cee’d 5-door hatchback was phased out in March, the factory continues to manufacture the first-generation cee’d SW wagon and pro_cee’d 3-door hatchback.
Volume production of the new wagon is expected to start in August or September, with the new 3-door model to follow in early 2013.
The auto maker launched a third shift for car production in early January, and beginning this week it is operating at full capacity. That means Kia Motors Slovakia has reached its planned capacity of about 300,000 cars a year.
In addition to the cee’d model range, the Slovak plant produces the Kia Sportage cross/utility vehicle and Venga multipurpose vehicle.
The facility manufactured 252,228 vehicles in 2011 and plans to make about 285,000 units this year.
“We expect that old and new cee’d units of all body styles will account for about 43% of this year’s total output, the Sportage for 42% and the Venga for 15%,” Lee Eek-Hee, president and CEO of Kia Motors Slovakia, tells WardsAuto.
In March, Kia’s Slovak plant also launched production of a new 2.0L diesel engine destined for the Sportage. While all parts of the engine temporarily are coming from South Korea, Lee says the main components will be sourced from Europe beginning in July. Machining then will take place at the Kia plant.
“We plan to invest about €110 million ($13 million) in our plant in 2012,” Lee says.
The auto maker will put the money toward preparations for the production of the station wagon and 3-door version of the new cee’d, the new 2.0L diesel engine and in its parts-consolidation center, which is now being expanded.