In the first half of 2016, production lines at the Kia Motors European production plant in Žilina, Slovakia, ran at full capacity. During this record period, Kia manufactured 177,900 cars, representing a 4.7% year-on-year increase in comparison to the first half of 2015. Engine production also improved on the year before, with over 318,000 units assembled by the end of June 2016.
The new Sportage led the production drive with a record 56,126 units registered in Europe during 2016 so far. The hugely popular compact SUV from Žilina had already been in the public eye recently having taken first place in the 2016 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study, and also achieved ‘zero faults’ in Auto Motor und Sport’s 100,000-km endurance test.
“I am very pleased to announce that Kia Motors Slovakia continues to improve its production output, year-on-year. Cars manufactured in our Žilina plant meet high European market standards with their quality, design and safety. The new Sportage, aside from winning numerous awards, has gained considerable popularity with a wide range of new customers in Europe. My appreciation goes out to the plant’s employees who, through their diligence and hardworking attitude, contribute every day to the ongoing high production quality of Kia cars,” said Eek-Hee Lee, President and CEO of Kia Motors Slovakia.
Sportage accounts for two thirds of Žilina’s production
The fourth generation of the Kia Sportage has quickly picked up where its popular predecessor left off. The current version of the best-selling SUV is now the most produced vehicle at Kia Motors Slovakia, representing 64% of the overall production and a third of all European sales for the Korean marque this year.
The cee’d family reached 28%, while the practical Kia Venga accounted for 8% in the first half of the year. Vehicles manufactured in the Žilina production facility covered 59% of the total Kia brand sales in Europe during the same period. The most important markets for the only Kia production plant in Europe were the Great Britain (15%), Germany (9%), Spain (8%), and Italy (8%).
Engine production also achieved excellent results in the first six months of the year, with over 318,000 units manufactured, representing more than an 11% year-on-year increase. Diesel engines represented 54% of the overall production volume, with the 1.7L direct injection diesel engine proving the most popular choice amongst Kia buyers. Currently, more than half of Kia’s manufactured engines are exported to its sister company, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech, situated in Nošovice.
The 7-year Kia quality pledge includes the 7-year Kia mobility guarantee, the 7-year Kia navigation maps update (for models with factory-installed map navigation systems) and Kia’s famous 7-year Kia manufacturer's warranty (or 150,000 kilometers).