Kia Set To Build "Range" Of Compacts At Monterrey Plant In 2016
Kia announced Wednesday that it plans to build “a range of yet-to-be confirmed compact models” at its new plant in Monterrey, Mexico after Job 1 production begins in H1 2016.
Automotive News reports the automaker is still determining which vehicles it plans to produce at the $1 billion plant, as it will be set-up to produce both compact and subcompact models at a rate of 300,000 units annually once full production begins.
Kia adds that the plant will also serve as a potential launching pad for production throughout Central and South America, as well as a supply line to a new sales channel in Mexico:
With its strong growth forecasts for new vehicle demand, Mexico was chosen as the site for Kia’s next overseas plant given that it is one of the few remaining major markets in the world in which Kia does not have a sales presence.
Kia will begin construction of its new facility in late September.
The Forte is the prettiest car in its class, IMO, and most of their lineup is handsome as well. They'll face strong competition in Mexico, but they should fare well.
Kia needs to increase supplies of the Forte and Sportage so those 2 seem to be the most likely candidates. Another would be the Soul since the largest market for the Soul by far is the US, but if Kia is looking to increase sales in the South American market, maybe the Rio or the new subcompact CUV.
Both the 2014 Kia Forte and the Soul essentially failed the IIHS small overlap crash test. Forte was described as "horrendous". I'm dismissive of Hyundai/Kia engineering in general, just can't help myself. The engines are fine, notwithstanding over-optimistic power ratings, but those bodies and suspension just don't make them Grade A. They got caught on fuel economy and fired Krafcik who can hardly be blamed. Home office strikes me as cynical and prepared to bend the truth to gain sales at any price. Remember the wholesale repeated executive firings a few years ago. The Elantra I experienced myself on rough roads. Car and Driver dissed the Cadenza and Azera earlier this year in stronger language than I've seen on TTAC for years: " For example, the suspension settings are softer, so every mile in a Cadenza isn’t a glaring reminder of the spot welds and structural bracing that are missing (in the Azera)." and " However, the Cadenza’s brakes lack commitment, as demonstrated by the longest stopping distance, and hard impacts still rattle the car’s relatively loose rafters." Car and Driver relies on advertising, but don't seem to shrink away from telling it like it is. H/K - Still not tier one, but the pricing is. Now about to be made in Mexico for your driving enjoyment.