Kia Motors to build new China plant, models

SEOUL Wed Nov 2, 2011 9:02am IST

A sign for automaker Kia Motors hangs at the 2008 New York International Auto Show March 19, 2008.  REUTERS/Keith Bedford/Files

A sign for automaker Kia Motors hangs at the 2008 New York International Auto Show March 19, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Keith Bedford/Files

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's Kia Motors said on Wednesday that its Chinese joint venture plans to build its third vehicle manufacturing facility in China by 2014, producing cars targeted at the world's top auto market.

The new facility with an annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles will bring Kia's total capacity in China to 730,000 vehicles and is aimed at "meeting dramatically increasing local demand and maintaining positive sales momentum in the Chinese market," Kia said in a statement.

Shares in Kia were up 1.1 percent versus the wider market's's 1.6 percent fall as of 0239 GMT.

Kia, an affiliate of Hyundai Motors, makes cars in China in a tie-up with Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd and Jiangsu Yueda Investment Co Ltd.

Kia and Hyundai have been among the best performing foreign brands in China in recent years, posting record-high monthly sales in September on strong demand for Hyundai's new Sonata sedan and Kia's new K2 (Rio) subcompact.

Hyundai-Kia expects to reach sales of around 1.15 million vehicles in China this year, placing it third in the market behind Volkswagen and General Motors.

On Wednesday, Dongfeng Yueda Kia (DYK) Motors and the local government signed a memorandum of understanding on the new plant in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province.

Kia said the plant would produce "strategic models developed especially for the Chinese market."

Hyundai Motor also plans to start production at its third China plant next year, bringing its total annual capacity to 1 million units.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)

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