Kia Erecting European Design Center in Germany
Date Posted 07-13-2005
FRANKFURT, Germany Kia Motors has announced a state-of-the-art design center will be created at its new European headquarters currently under construction in downtown Frankfurt.
The design center, scheduled to begin operations in March 2007, will be fully independent from Kia's sister company Hyundai Motor and marks a significant change in strategy, as all the other existing design centers throughout the world are jointly operated. Currently Kia shares Hyundai's European R&D center in Russelsheim, Germany; it will eventually focus solely on Hyundai.
Yong-Hwan Kim, senior executive vice president of Kia Motors Corporation, said: "Building a separate design center in Europe is an important and timely step in order to further differentiate Kia's product range from Hyundai and our competitors."
Europe has become Kia's largest export market in 2005, and the Korean company has started building its first European production factory, in Zilina, Slovakia. Over the past two years, Kia has been the fastest growing automotive brand in Europe.
In addition to the design center, the new headquarters building situated alongside Frankfurt's main showground where the biennial auto show is held will be used by Kia Motors Europe to house its pan-European sales, marketing and after-sales operations. There will also be a sales academy, a technical service center and the company's pan-European IT hub.
What this means to you: The Koreans are no fools they've seen the Japanese develop separate model lines aimed at key markets such as Europe and North America, and they're copying that successful formula.
Source: Edmunds/Inside Line