Published on September 9th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Kia Motors Officially Opens its New Production Facility in Mexico
Construction of Kia’s new manufacturing plant, located in Pesquería in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Léon, began in October 2014. The facility – Kia’s sixth overseas production base – represents an investment by Kia and suppliers of US$3 billion.
Kia expands its global production capacity
Kia’s new manufacturing plant will have an annual production capacity of 400,000 units, boosting the Korean brand’s global manufacturing capacity to 3.56 million vehicles. Production began in May 2016, with the Mexico plant providing the company with a new production base for the C-segment Kia Forte (known as ‘Cerato’ in some markets). Beginning of 2017, the plant will produce the all-new fourth generation B-segment Rio, which will have its world premiere on 29 September in Paris at the 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile.
In addition to supplying the local Mexican market, where Kia is targeting a 5% market share by 2020, 80% of the facility’s production is destined for numerous other countries in the region, including the USA and other Latin American markets – where demand for Kia cars is expected to increase. The facility is currently operating on one shift, producing around 100,000 cars per year, and is able to manufacture one car every 53 seconds (68 units per hour). A second and third shift will be added in 2017 to bring annual plant capacity to 300,000 units, and Kia expects the plant to be operating at full capacity of 400,000 units utilizing three shifts by the end of 2018.
The new plant is a high-tech integrated automotive production facility, with 420 robots automating the press, body and paint shops, as well as the assembly line. Meanwhile, a new quality control centre was established to ensure that all vehicles are manufactured to the highest standards.
14,000 jobs to be created, Kia to fund CSR activities in the region
A significant number of new jobs are being created at the plant. By the end of 2017, approximately 14,000 workers will be employed by the Kia Motors Mexico plant and supplier firms.
The site also includes a training centre for assembly line workers. Kia’s systematic approach to vocational training and human resource development will see every employee undergo a 15-day training period before they are assigned to positions on the assembly line, with further opportunities for more advanced training in future.