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CARMAKING NOT LIMITED TO BIG PLAYERS

Kia and Hyundai to sell each other parts

AS PART of an agreement between the two companies, the new Kia plant near Žilina will start producing Hyundai engines and the Hyundai plant near Nošovice, Czech Republic will produce Kia's gearboxes, the ČTK newswire wrote.

AS PART of an agreement between the two companies, the new Kia plant near Žilina will start producing Hyundai engines and the Hyundai plant near Nošovice, Czech Republic will produce Kia's gearboxes, the ČTK newswire wrote.

Of the 600,000 gearboxes made at the Nošovice plant, one half will go to Slovakia, while the same number of engines will be delivered to Hyundai, said Petr Vaněk of Hyundai Motors Manufacturing Czech Republic.

The plants are located only 90 kilometres apart. A similar strategy was chosen in the US, where a Kia and Hyundai plant are only 60 miles from each other.

But while Kia in Žilina started production as early as the end of 2006, the Hyundai plant is still being constructed. According to Vaněk, Hyundai should start a testing operation in September 2008, and the start of full production is planned for March 2009.

Kia's investments in Slovakia amount to €1 billion, which is slightly less than Hyundai's €1.1 billion investment in the Nošovice plant, which will employ more than 3,000 people.

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