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Kia to build engine factory in Slovakia to supply Czech plant

Kia Motors Corp., South Korea's carmaker, will build an engine plant in Slovakia to supply an auto factory under construction in the neighboring Czech Republic by parent company Hyundai Motor Co.

Construction of the engine plant, Kia's second at its Zilina, Slovakia, car factory, will start by June and is scheduled to be completed in time for Hyundai's plant to start operations in late 2008, In Kyu Bae, head of Kia's Slovak unit, told journalists in a briefing at the Zilina site.

The new engine plant will have a capacity of 300,000 units a year, he said without specifying the size of the investment. Kia started commercial production of the Cee'd model at the €1 billion ($1.33 billion) Zilina factory in December. Seoul-based Kia plans to make about 5,000 cars in Slovakia this year, with production scheduled to rise to „over” 150,000 vehicles in 2007, and will reach full capacity of 300,000 vehicles by early 2009, Bae said. (Bloomberg)