Established in 2004, Kia’s production plant in Žilina, Slovakia was the company’s first manufacturing facility in Europe. The factory, which is 200 kilometres north-east of the capital Bratislava, occupies a space of over 1.6 square kilometres.
The location of Žilina is significant, with easy connections to many large European cities, a skilled local workforce, and high-quality suppliers. Around 8% of Kia’s global workforce (3,800 people) work at the plant, alongside over 530 cutting-edge robots.
Žilina’s (state-of-the art) facilities
The factory is divided into five distinct areas – press, body, paint, engine and assembly shops, which each play a key role in the process of creating new vehicles. The facility also houses an inspection line and proving ground to ensure all vehicles meet the exacting standards of European drivers.
An on-site training centre ensures employees all meet the high-standard of workmanship specified by Kia. Every part of the factory is meticulously maintained and operates smoothly, ensuring all vehicles driven off the production line are worthy of the company’s unrivalled seven-year, 150,000-kilometre warranty.
Žilina’s economic impact in Europe
In 2017, Kia Slovakia purchased supplies worth €4.3 billion, €3.0 billion (71%) of which was sourced from within the EU. A third of those come from within Slovakia – contributing to country’s economy and GDP. Kia models produced in Slovakia are exported to 76 global markets – with the majority sold across Europe and Russia. Kia’s range of European-manufactured models account for nearly 50 per cent of the company’s total European sales.
Production capacity and model lines
Each year, the plant’s 7.5-kilometre-long production line produces around 350,000 cars – 10 per cent of Kia’s global output – as well as around 540,000 engines from two engine production workshops on site. Since its opening, the plant has produced over three million vehicles, and more than four million engines.
The Žilina facility has a production line capable of producing eight different models simultaneously. It is and always has been responsible for producing all members of the Ceed family which now includes Ceed, Ceed GT, Ceed Sportswagon, ProCeed, XCeed as well as plug-in hybrid versions of both Ceed Sportswagon and XCeed. The plant is also responsible for producing three generations of Sportage, including Mild-Hybrid ‘Ecodynamics+’ variants.
The Kia Ceed and Žilina’s histories are forever entwined. Ceed was Kia’s first vehicle to be engineered and manufactured exclusively in Europe, and the Ceed was the first car to roll off the production line in 2006. In 2015, the facility produced its one millionth Ceed. In late 2018 the plant started production of the third-generation Ceed.
The Žilina plant has produced three generations of the Sportage compact SUV, commencing with the second-generation model in 2007. Since then, more than 1.6 million examples of the Sportage have been produced. The fourth-generation model, launched in 2015, is still in production today.
Kia continues to monitor market performance of its vehicles ensuring that the cars produced at Žilina are relevant to the European buyer, while maintaining the company’s strong reputation for design, quality and reliability.
 London Economics The Economic and Societal Benefits Deriving from the Presence of Kia in Europe https://londoneconomics.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Kia-report-January-2016.pdf