Slovakia is part of the euro zone. While whole countries need to be bailed out or go bankrupt, the town of Zilina is peaceful – and busy. At the Kia plant, more than 253,000 cee’d, Venga and Sportage models have rolled off the assembly lines, more than the plant made all last year, Reuters says.
October output alone jumped by 35 percent on the year to 30,000 vehicles, plant managers told the Reuters reporter. The company wants to build 285,000 units this year.
Reuters sees the growth “in stark contrast with the rest of the European car industry, which has shed thousands of jobs as the economic downturn erodes demand and forced measures such as Ford Motor Co’s plan to close a Belgian factory with more than 4,000 workers and shift production to Spain.”
Kia sales in the EU were up 20 percent January-September. Sales of affiliate Hyundai are up 9.3 percent while the EU new car market as a whole shrunk 7.6 percent year-to-date. Slovakia could attract Volkswagen, Kia, and PSA. At one time, Volkswagen alone amounted to 19 percent of all of Slovakia’s exports.