Canadian Manufacturing

Kia breaks ground on massive new China plant

The plant will have an expected annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles

SEOUL—Kia Motors Corp. and its Chinese subsidiary, Dongfeng Yueda Kia Motor Co., Ltd.begaun construction of another state-of-the art manufacturing facility, its third plant in the Yancheng Economic Development Zone (Jiangsu Province).

The plant—with an expected annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles when completed in the first half of 2014—will give Kia a total assembly capacity of 730,000 vehicles in China.

The new plant will be located only five kilometres from Kia’s second plant and benefits from existing infrastructure investments.

In addition to state-of-the-art press, body, painting, assembly and engine module lines, the plant will house a technology research center and 1,960-meter high-speed test track.

The third plant takes advantage of the latest flexible manufacturing specifications and will be capable of adjusting capacity by 100,000 units to 400,000 units, as market demand dictates.

Kia plans to produce China-specific models that reflect local market preferences.

Dongfeng Yueda Kia subsidiary posted sales of 432,518 units in 2011, a 326 per cent increase over 2007 (101,427 units).

Popularity of locally produced models like K2 (China-specific version of the Rio), Forte (known as Cerato in some markets) and Sportage CUV, has pushed 2012 sales to 185,543 units, a 16.7 per cent year-over-year growth representing about 3.6 per cent market share.

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