Kia Australia is seriously considering sourcing some of its models from Europe as the company looks to diversify its product sourcing strategy and alleviate any potential supply issues going forward.
Although no firm decision on the matter has yet been made, Kia Australia, which currently sources all of its cars from its home base in South Korea, will be looking to utilise Kia’s East European plant in Žilina, Slovakia.
The manufacturing plant, which came online in 2005 and is able to produce roughly 300,000 vehicles per year, could initially supply Australia the Kia Sportage Diesel, but once the relationship has been established it could lead to other Euro-centric models such as the Kia Cee'd and Kia Pro_Cee'd making an Australian debut.
Speaking with CarAdvice, Kia Australia's national public relations manager, Kevin Hepworth, said the decision would be made in 2013 and that "it's a matter of nutting out the business plan and shipping costs and making sure the costs are not out of balance for the return".
Kia's potential move to source some vehicles outside of South Korea is in contrast with Holden's decision last decade which saw the European-sourced Astra and Vectra replaced by vehicles from GM Korea Company (variants of the Cruze and the Captiva and Barina ranges).
If the European sourcing for Kia vehicles goes ahead, the additional shipping costs will be absorbed by the company, as showroom prices will not increase.
Do you think sourcing cars from Europe is a good idea for Kia Australia?