Five years since the start of operations, Kia Motors Manufacturing Slovakia has rolled out its 1,000,000th vehicle -- a white cee'd SW with diesel engine. The company immediately handed this automobile to the Red Nose Clowndoctors, a children's charity in Slovakia. The 1-millionth vehicle is also the 600,000th variant of the Zilina facility's first automobile.
Currently, this factory also manufactures Venga and Sportage. Kia Motors Slovakia President and CEO Eek-Hee Lee commented that with the production of the millionth vehicle, the Slovakian unit has achieved "an important milestone" in its history. The Red Nose Clowndoctors brings pleasure to children during their stay in hospitals.
In 2011, Kia Motors Slovakia posted a 10% year-on-year rise in vehicle production and a 12% year-on-year leap, producing more than 252,000 automobiles and 359,000 engines. The facility intends to manufacture about 285,000 vehicles this year. Also in 2011, Sportage production topped 101,000 units, comprising 40% of the total production. Overall, 103,000 cee'd models were manufactured, or 41% of the total production and 11,000 Kia Venga models.
The remainder of the 2011 production was the 36,000 Hyundai ix35 units, manufactured up to June 2011. This year, Kia Motors Slovakia implemented a third shift and increased its workforce to 3,900 employees. Currently, the company is getting ready for the production of the second-generation cee'd model during the second quarter.
The new generation Sportage marks a new direction for Kia’s iconic SUV segment. The compact Kia Sportage is wider, lower and longer than the former Sportage model sold in the previous years. The new Sportage now also comes with the new “tiger face” grille just like most of Peter Schreyer’s latest designs.
Chief Design Officer for Kia applied these fresh and bold styling elements on the new Sportage so that it would look exactly like the rest of Kia’s we see around today. Schreyer put all the fundamental characteristics of an off-road SUV while adding the new, globally accepted standards such as enhanced security, better driving position and raised ground clearance. With these muscular and athletic designs, there couldn’t be another name better than Sportage. It simply is so perfect for its name.
New Sportage embodies a more distinct and powerful look with its pair of large and intense headlights and wider bonnet. The bonnet’s clamshell design leaves a stronger and more solid impression at the front. These, along with Kia’s signature grille, add up to the Sportage’s three-dimensional finish.
Gregory Guillaume, Kia Europe’s Chief Designer also explained how the new Sportage’s athletic vibe is boosted by its distinctive roofline, raked windscreen as well as the grille’s signature profile. Interestingly, the same elements were shown in 2007 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The Kee Concept has featured the distinctive outline along the base of the windshield. On the other hand, the Kia Sportage’s flare wheel arches, concave door panels and sculpted flanks contribute in giving the SUV better visibility on the road.