Kia is currently observing its tenth anniversary of production in Europe. From the official launch of volume production on 7 December 2006, over 2.5 million vehicles and 3.8 million engines have rolled off production lines at the Kia Slovakia factory.
The company has invested more than 1.7 billion euros 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. Operating three production shifts each day, Kia alone employs approximately 3,800 people. Kia currently manufactures the cee’d model family, Sportage and Venga at the facility, and exports to 95 countries worldwide. 14 per cent of models produced in Žilina are right-hand drive cars, while almost 40,000 Kia cars produced in Kia’s only European plant are present on Slovak roads.
The initial investment for building the plant represented 700 million euros. The Korean manufacturer has continuously invested into production of new models at the facility, as well as installation of new technologies, with the company’s total investment in the region now totaling around 1.7 billion euros. In 2016, Kia has invested 60 million euros, with plans to invest a further 130 million in 2017 in innovating the company’s existing product portfolio. Kia Slovakia has so far paid corporate income tax of around 320 million euros in Slovakia.
Kia Slovakia currently employs around 3,800 people directly at the Žilina facility, with an average age of 35. Over 800 people have worked at Kia Slovakia for more than 10 years, and almost 2,800 people longer than 5 years, confirming the company’s position among the top employers in the country. Kia is committed to developing the skills and competencies of its employees, and has organized 8,900 training courses for staff since 2006. From the start of full vehicle production, Kia Slovakia has issued over 2,160,000 lunches to its employees in the canteens.
In the last 10 years, the most popular model produced by Kia in Žilina has been the Kia cee’d model family, accounting for 45 per cent of the total number of vehicles manufactured so far, followed by the brand’s current European best-seller, the Kia Sportage.
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).
The plant is home to two engine production shops. The facility’s 1.6-liter 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 Nošovice in the Czech Republic.
Edited: Kia Motors