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KIA MARKS 10 YEARS OF EUROPEAN PRODUCTION IN SLOVAKIA

Wednesday 7th December marked the tenth anniversary of production in Europe. Ten years on from the official launch of volume production, over 2.5 million vehicles and 3.8 million engines have rolled off production lines at Kia Motors Slovakia in Zilina.

Over 1.7 billion EUR have been invested by the company since its arrival in Slovakia, generating over 20,000 jobs directly at the plant and among 40 of the facility's most significant Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers. The Cee'd, Sportage and Venga models are produced at the facility and are exported to an impressive 95 countries worldwide.

Eek-Hee Lee, President and CEO of Kia Motors Slovakia, commented: "In the past decade, our company has become one of the biggest employers, producers, exporters and taxpayers in Slovakia. I would like to express my deep thanks mainly to our employees for their effort and passion. They have been the major force in achieving our production and business results over the past decade, and pushed the company to become one of the most efficient production facilities across the Hyundai Motor Group."

Initially the investment for building the plan in Slovakia totalled in the region of 700 million Euros. The Korean manufacturer has invested generously into production of new models and installation of new technology ever since its inception in to region. To date, the company's total investment represents around 1.7 billion Euros. Zilina has seen an investment of 60 million Euros in 2016, with a further 130 million Euros set to be injected in 2017 as the company seeks to bolster its existing product portfolio.

Around 3,800 people are employed by Kia Motors at the Zilina? facility. Over 800 staff have worked at Kia Motors Slovakia for more than 10 years, and well over half have been at the facility for more than 5 years which consolidates the company's position amongst the top employers in the country. Kia maintains a strong commitment to staff development, with almost 9,000 courses delivered for staff since 2006.

Jan Taliga, Head of Press Shop, Kia Motors Slovakia, commented: "We fondly remember the moment the very first Kia cee'd model rolled off of the production line. As the first Slovak employee, I have witnessed not only the first stages of construction, but also the extension of production from one to two and then three working shifts. During my time working for Kia, I have developed my skills, and enjoyed working as part of a team with my colleagues."

Over the last decade, the Kia cee'd model family has been the most popular model produced at the plant, accounting for 45 percent of vehicles manufactured. The Kia Sportage, the brand's current European best-seller, is the second most produced in Zilina.

Every day, two trains and 90 transporters are dispatched, sending 1,400 cars to 95 countries globally. Since 2006, Kia has exported most of its vehicles to Russia (18 per cent), the UK (12 per cent), Germany (9 per cent), Spain (6 per cent), and Italy (6 per cent). Zilina? has also produced a series of unique fleet orders for the Slovak and Polish Police Forces, Czech Post, Slovak representatives of an international car rental company, as well as both the biggest pharmaceutical manufacturer and mobile service provider in Poland.

The plant is home to two engine production shops. The facility's 1.6-litre diesel engine is the single most popular engine produced in Slovakia, accounting for 20 per cent of the total engine production to date, though the majority of the 3.8 million units produced are petrol engines (53 per cent). Almost half of the engines produced by Kia are exported to Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech in Nosovice in the Czech Republic.