- 200,000th Kia cee'd manufactured in Europe on Friday 23 May 2008
- Zilina plant building 50 different Kia cee'd models in record numbers
(SEOUL) May 26, 2008 -- Managers and staff at Kia's vehicle manufacturing facility at Zilina in Slovakia celebrated another historic landmark when the 200,000th Kia cee'd was driven off the final assembly line on Friday 23 May. The historic car, a three-door Kia pro_cee'd, finished in Dakar Yellow, is destined for a customer in Germany.
"This is another truly significant day for Kia," enthused Mr. In-Kyu Bae, President and CEO Kia Motors Slovakia (KMS). "We produced our 100,000th cee'd last September, 10 months after start-up, and with the addition of the cee'd wagon and pro_cee'd three-door hatch, we have reached our 200,000th cee'd after only eight months. We have also been consistently achieving record productivity levels while maintaining excellent build quality.
"These last two factors, plus the style, design, quality and durability of the Kia cee'd cars manufactured here in Slovakia, have enabled us to offer the unique Kia 7-Year Warranty on cee'd which has played a part in triggering a growing surge in Kia sales across Europe," concluded Mr. Bae.
This year, Zilina has set a string of new productivity records with 915 units made in a single day (Monday 21 April), 4,474 units in a single week (week starting 7 April) and 19,300 units in one month (April).
Mr. Paul Willis, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Kia Motors Europe, added, "Since the Kia cee'd's launch in Europe in December 2006, the cee'd family, with its choice of five-door, three-door and wagon body styles, plus attractive styling, high quality and 5-Star EuroNCAP safety standards, has played a significant role in winning over thousands of new consumers to the Kia brand."
Designed and manufactured to Award-Winning standards
Last month, the Kia cee'd was honoured by TUV NORD which presented Kia with DFE (Design for Environment) and LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) environment certificates confirming that the design and manufacturing processes behind the successful Kia cee'd are indeed 'environmentally-friendly'. The Kia cee'd is the first Korean brand car to receive such recognition.
Not only has the whole Kia cee'd build process been lauded as environmentally sound, the car itself has earned widespread praise from discerning automotive media across Europe. By winning 10 national 'Car of the Year'-style awards and claiming the No. 1 place in more than 30 comparison road tests to date, the Kia cee'd model range has become the 'most decorated' Korean-brand car in European automotive history.
Despite facing tough competition in Europe's most closely-fought market sector (C-segment), Kia cee'd was voted 'Family Car of the Year' in Sweden, 'Car of the Year' in Greece, 'Fleet Car of the Year' (Compact Class) in Poland, 'ING Business Class, Lease Car of the Year' in Belgium and 'Best Car of the Year' (C-segment) in the Czech Republic. Additional COTY-type awards were won in Romania, the Canary Islands, Lithuania and Macedonia.
As well as winning awards, the Kia cee'd five-door hatchback and sporty wagon have also performed exceptionally well in real-world test drives against other C-segment cars. During 2007, the cee'd was ranked No. 1 by independent motoring journalists in nine European countries, in 32 comparison tests conducted against the leading contenders in its class. The Kia was consistently placed above such well established cars as the Auris, Astra, Golf, Bravo, Megane, C4, Civic and Audi A3.
With a highly-trained staff of 2,748 working two shifts, Zilina is currently building more than 50 derivatives of three Kia cee'd models - five-door hatchback, five-door sporty wagon and three-door pro_cee'd - plus 10 different versions of Sportage SUV models, simultaneously on six final assembly lines that highlight the plant's flexibility. Thanks to the high quality and durability of cars manufactured in Slovakia, all Kia cee'd models sold in Europe come with the unique Kia 7-Year/150,000 km Warranty.
In December, the plant will begin manufacturing cee'd vehicles with fuel-stretching and CO2-reducing technologies from Kia's experimental eco_cee'd line-up, further underlining the company's strong and continuing drive to minimize its impact on the environment.
Kia Motors always claimed that its first-ever assembly facility in Europe (at Zilina) would establish new benchmarks for vehicle quality and productivity, aiming to manufacture '100 cars per employee per year' when fully operational and becoming the most productive car plant in Europe. Today's 200,000th Kia cee'd landmark is proof that Kia's productivity ambitions for its plant in Slovakia are progressing strongly.
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.com) -- a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart -- was founded in 1944 and is Korea's oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world's premier automotive brands. More than 1.4 million vehicles a year are produced in 14 manufacturing and assembly operations in eight countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 165 countries. Kia today has over 40,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of almost US$17 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an official worldwide sponsor of the Davis Cup. Kia is an official automotive partner of FIFA -- the governing body of the FIFA World Cup -- as well as a EUROTOP partner of UEFA. Kia Motors Corporation's brand slogan -- "The Power to Surprise" -- represents the company's global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.