Kia Motors Slovakia celebrates its 10th anniversary

The company has produced a total of 2.33 million vehicles since 2006.

Kia plant near Žilina. Kia plant near Žilina. (Source: Courtesy of Kia Motors Slovakia)

Korean carmaker Kia Motors officially launched the testing production in its first European plant located in Teplička nad Váhom, near Žilina, on June 9, 2006.

The assembly-line production started in December 2006 with the five-door version of the Kia ceed model. Subsequently, the carmaker launched the production of engines in the plant in 2008, the TASR newswire reported.

Kia Motors Corporation started its search for its first plant in central Europe in 2003, choosing between the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Eventually they decided on the plots near Žilina, with the government supporting the investment project with state aid amounting to some 4.2 billion Slovak crowns. The plant’s construction, however, was accompanied by disputes over the plots on which it stands, TASR wrote.

The government and representatives of Kia Motors Corporation signed an agreement on March 18, 2004 in Bratislava, and the construction works started in April 2004. The construction of production halls was completed in 2005. The company then began installing new production technologies and hiring the first employees.

The installation of the technologies and testing of production devices continued also in 2006, following which the company decided to launch testing and then also assembly-line production. By the end of 2006, the plant produced 4,715 vehicles.

In the same year, the plant built also a testing area, with a 3,284 metre road, TASR wrote.

Kia Motors has invested about €1 billion into the plant. It currently employs 3,800 people in Slovakia. Since launching the assembly-line production, it has produced some 2.33 million vehicles.

The carmaker is also active in education, within the dual-education scheme, and life in the region, TASR reported.

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