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Kia highlights “integral” importance of Slovakian operation to its global ambitions

27.05.2005

- Chairman Mong-Koo Chung emphasizes Kia’s commitment to Zilina plant during visit by Prime Minister Mikulas Dzulinda
- Construction of plant, with annual capacity of 300,000 units, to be completed late next year



(SEOUL) May 27, 2005 -- Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) today highlighted the importance of its planned manufacturing plant in Zilina, Slovakia, describing the facility as “integral” to the company’s ongoing global expansion, during a visit by Slovak Republic Prime Minister Mikulas Dzulinda to the Republic of Korea.
Prime Minister Dzulinda visited Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group’s Namyang R&D center and toured the design center, powertrain center, crash test facility and proving ground. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Deputy Finance Minister, Eva Simkova, and 40 delegates and businessmen from Slovakia.

Mong-Koo Chung, Chairman and CEO of Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, said, “Kia Motors is already among the world’s fastest growing automakers and we are committed to ensuring that this dramatic growth continues across all markets. Our plant in the Slovak Republic will be an integral factor in supporting our global expansion, especially in Europe. ”

“However, our operations in Zilina would not be possible without the vision that has been shown by the Slovak government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Dzulinda, in introducing competitive, market-oriented economic policies that have supported foreign companies, like Kia Motors, in setting up in Slovakia,” added Mr. Chung.

Prime Minister Dzurinda said, “During this visit, I have witnessed the world-class R&D capabilities and state-of-art technologies of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group. Again, we are delighted to have such an advanced automaker investing in the Slovak Republic.”

The Prime Minister also said that the Kia production facility in Zilina is expected to greatly contribute to the ongoing development of the Slovakian economy. He pledged his government’s continued support for Kia’s operations in Slovakia.

Kia’s first-ever European production facility is now under construction after its ground-breaking ceremony in April last year and is located 203 km north-east of the capital, Bratislava. Factory buildings are now being built and assembly lines will be installed at the beginning of July this year.

The 1.1 billion Euro assembly plant is the second Kia Motors overseas production facility, after the company’s factory in China, and will have a production capacity of 300,000 units per annum. The plant will produce new compact cars and SUVs aimed at the European market.

Kia shipped 267,000 vehicles to Europe last year and 425,000 vehicles are expected to be exported to the same market this year, a whopping 59% increase.

Editor’s note: Export figures include shipments of kits for knock-down assembly in overseas markets.

Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com) -- the fastest growing automaker in the world -- was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world’s premier automotive brands. Kia’s 16 manufacturing and assembly operations in 12 countries produce more than 1.1 million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 155 countries. Kia today has over 32,000 employees and annual revenues of $14 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an official worldwide sponsor of the Davis Cup. Kia Motors Corporation’s brand slogan -- “The Power to Surprise” -- represents the company’s global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.