- Official signing ceremony held in Bratislava on March 18
- Ceremony attended by Hyundai-Kia Chairman Mong-Koo Chung and Slovakian Prime Minister Mikula? Dzurinda
(Seoul) March 18, 2004 - Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) today held a signing ceremony at the central government building in Bratislava, Slovakia, to officially authorize the construction of Kia’s €1 billion automotive assembly and manufacturing plant in the Slovak Republic. Signatories to the Investment Agreement were Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group Chairman and CEO Mong-Koo Chung and Slovakian Prime Minister Mikula? Dzurinda.
The cooperation agreement formalized the commitment of Kia Motors to build its first European plant in the Slovak Republic as well as the Slovakian government’s commitment to finalize all related internal and EU authorizations on schedule and to provide in a timely way the necessary structural framework for investment. Both parties also pledged to fully cooperate and honor all mutual obligations which were previously agreed during the negotiations that resulted in Kia’s decision to locate its plant in Slovakia.
Kia’s new European assembly and manufacturing operation will be built on 150 hectares in Slovakia’s Zilina region and will create approximately 2,400 jobs at the facility. The plant ? which will be owned and operated by Kia ? will begin production in late 2006 and produce 200,000 Kia vehicles per year with the possibility under review to expand capacity to 300,000 vehicles based on market conditions.
The decision by KMC to build the new facility was based on continued strong sales and market share growth in Europe. Kia is currently Europe’s fastest-growing automotive brand, and one of the fastest-growing in the world. Last year in Europe, Kia sold a record 150,000 vehicles and this year plans to export more than 255,000 vehicles.
“The Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group plans to become a global top 5 automobile company by the year 2010 and Kia’s Slovakian plant is an important milestone towards our achievement of that objective,” said Mong-Koo Chung, Hyundai-Kia Chairman. “I am also confident that Kia’s plant will cement a strong foundation in Zilina and play a vital role in the economic development of Slovakia, where we look forward to being an active and responsible corporate citizen.”
“I want to thank Prime Minister Dzurinda and the people of Slovakia for their commitment to Kia,” Chairman Chung emphasized. “Together we are now building what I am sure will be an enduring and mutually successful relationship.”
Today’s signing ceremony was attended by leading Hyundai-Kia executives and senior Slovak government officials.
An official groundbreaking event for the new Kia plant is scheduled for April 7.
Founded in 1944 and now celebrating its 60th anniversary, Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com) is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of automobiles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia is among the world’s fastest growing automobile companies and aims to be a top five global automaker by 2010. Kia’s 15 manufacturing and assembly operations in 12 countries make more than a million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 190 countries. Kia today has 30,000 employees and annual revenues of $12 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an international sponsor of the Davis Cup.