South Korean car maker Kia Motors said Thursday that it had exceeded last year's record output of 252,000 cars by November at its Slovak plant fuelled by high demand, this despite Europe's economic downturn.
"The plant produced 253,000 cars so far this year, surpassing last year's output of more than 252,000 units," a Kia press release said adding the plant plans "to assemble 285,000 cars this year."
Kia also said it assembled 30,000 cars in October, making it the most productive month since the plant was launched in 2006.
"Kia, together with other Slovak car plants, is in a much better shape than the rest of the Europe," Vladimir Vano, chief analyst at Volksbank told AFP.
"Kia represents a successful new Asian entrant to the European markets, which thanks to its portfolio -- good cars for the bad times -- managed to raise its market share," he added.
Kia, which employs 3,900 people in the central European country, earlier this year launched a third shift at its plant close to Zilina, northern Slovakia, which makes the Kia cee’d, Kia Sportage and Kia Venga models.
The plant exports 98 percent of its production, mostly to Russia, Great Britain and Germany.
Auto production is the driving economic force in Slovakia, a eurozone country of 5.4 million which is also home to plants run by Germany's Volkswagen and PSA Peugeot Citroen of France.