Korean automaker KIA invested $158 million in the Pesqueria plant, Nuevo León, to start manufacturing a new subcompact car for the Mexican market: the K3.
Production will begin in September, while the new model will be marketed from October.
The creation of the K3 replaces the Rio model, which will be phased out as its production cycle also ends in September.
The K3 will also be exported to South America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, with no plans at this time to ship it to the United States or Canada.
During the eighth anniversary of KIA in Mexico, Horacio Chávez, the company’s managing director in our country, remarked that in such countries, gasoline cars will exist for many years and the process of electrification will be slow.
“At the end of the year we will make our first foray (into electric cars) with the EV6 and there we will see what happens with the segment.
“It is a segment that grew by 100% last year and this year I estimate it to grow by at least 50%, but it is still a small volume,” he said.
The K3 will have two available engines: a 1.6-litre and a high-end 2-litre for the GT Line variant.
Rio, best seller in 2022 with around 50k units
Chavez said, “The Rio is passing next door as it became the best-selling car in the country last year, reaching almost 50,000 units. We hope the K3 can maintain a similar trend.”
Subcompact cars represent 18% of KIA’s sales in the country.
Currently, the plant in Nuevo León has a capacity of 400,000 units per year and this year it is estimated that they will manufacture 265,000 units, so the company can absorb the production of the new K3.
The plant generates 12,000 direct jobs and 65,000 indirect jobs; And it has more than 500 suppliers bearing Mexican company names.