MONTEVIDEO – Kia Motors Uruguay Corporation S.A. has launched production of its Bongo K2500 line of trucks at a factory in Montevideo, where it plans to manufacture 12,000 units annually after investing $25 million.
The office of Uruguay’s president said the first of these light trucks will roll off the factory floor in September and be manufactured with parts from 11 Brazilian factories and six Uruguayan and Argentine plants.
Almost all of the plant’s output is destined for Brazil.
Kia Motors Uruguay is a unit of Gandini Participacoes e Representacoes, which also controls Kia Motors do Brasil.
Company President Jose Luiz Gandini said during the launch of the production line that the decision to invest in Uruguay stems from policies established by the South Korean parent company, which plans to expand into Paraguay and Argentina in 2012.
The Bongo will be manufactured at a factory owned by Uruguay’s Nordex S.A., whose president, Federico de Posadas, stressed the “great effort” – financed by Kia – to adapt the plant and upgrade its different industrial processes.
Gandini said construction of this line of vehicles in Uruguay is part of “a strategic industrial-commercial alliance” that will ensure auto dealers have access to a vehicle with “the highest quality parameters” of Kia Motors.
On hand for the inauguration ceremony was Uruguayan President Jose Mujica, who thanked his predecessors for making this undertaking possible.
“It’s thanks to them that Uruguay today is a credible country from an economic standpoint; this is a small country in number of inhabitants but one that offers the world seriousness and stability,” the president said.
Mujica also thanked the Korean executives for bringing their business to Uruguay, saying they not only are investing in the country but also have a lot to teach Uruguayans “because their standard of excellence is very high.” EFE