Mexico City - South Korean automaker Kia is planning to increase its production in Mexico by 40% this year, Horacio Chavez, its director general in the country, announced Monday.
Kia's production could reach 314,000 units by the end of 2018, up from 223,000 last year, Chavez told a press conference.
He said that this boost showed that Kia, which began production in Mexico in 2016, was optimistic about the positive result of the NAFTA renegotiation talks and the diversification of Mexican exports. "We are paying close attention about what is happening and we are confident everything will go well with NAFTA," said Chavez.
The administration of President Donald Trump wants to increase rules of origin to 85 percent of regional content, as well as 50 percent only from the U.S., while Mexico and Canada are united in their desire to keep it at current levels.
The U.S. is the main export market for Kia, although it is slowly building up new markets for its Forte and Rio models, made in Mexico.
In terms of sales in Mexico, Chavez said Kia hoped to sell over 100,000 units this year, compared to 86,713 sales in 2017.
This would take Kia's market share in the Mexican market from 5.7 percent to around 10 percent. It is currently the seventh-largest car seller in Mexico.Original article