Kia Sportage has emerged as the four millionth vehicle to roll out from the company’s Zilina plant in Slovakia. The facility began mass production in 2006 and the first vehicles to be produced at Kia Slovakia were models from the Kia Ceed family. This model line-up continues to be designed, engineered, and manufactured in Europe.
Kia Slovakia produced its one-millionth vehicle in 2012 and the company claims that every three years since it has added another million vehicles to the manufacturing tally. Now, nine years later, four million cars have rolled off the 7.5-kilometre production line, which is capable of simultaneously producing eight different models. It currently oversees the manufacture of all members of the Ceed family, comprising Ceed, Ceed GT, Ceed Sportswagon, ProCeed, XCeed, and the last three generations of the Sportage.
The plant is now one of Slovakia’s major producers and exporters employing a 3,700 strong workforce assisted by high-tech robots. A recent investment of €70 million allows the plant to produce and assemble new petrol engines in response to changing market demands. Kia will now build small-capacity, high-efficiency, hybrid-compatible petrol engines on three engine production lines, with the fourth dedicated to the brand’s latest ‘Smartstream’ 1.6-litre diesel engine.