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Kia to open US$1b car assembly plant in Mexico

South Korean carmaker Kia Motors on Wednesday (Aug 27) announced plans to build its first auto assembly plant in Mexico.

MEXICO CITY: South Korean carmaker Kia Motors on Wednesday (Aug 27) announced plans to build its first auto assembly plant in Mexico.

The US$1 billion (S$1.24 billion) plant is to be built near the city of Monterrey in northern Mexico and would begin operations in 2016.

It will have state-of-the-art technology and capacity to make 300,000 vehicles a year, the company's vice president for global strategy, Lee Hyung-kun said. He did not say what types or models of vehicles are to be produced there.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who joined Lee for the announcement, said the South Korean carmaker would invest more than US$1 billion in the project.

KIA was the third foreign carmaker in as many months to announce major projects in Mexico. In July, BMW said it plans to install a US$1 billion plant in San Luis Potosi with annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles.

In June, Renault and Mercedes-Benz announced plans to co-produce up to 300,000 compact cars a year in Aguascalientes. The project involves a US$1.35 billion (S$1.68 billion) investment.

Mexico is the world's eighth largest auto producer, and fourth largest auto exporter.

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