Kia’s K3 compact car, the Forte/Cerado

(Q24N) MEXICO – Kiaa Motors Corp., South Korea’s second-ranked carmaker, has said it plans to begin production of vehicles at its plant in Mexico.

The production of the K3 compact car is set to start on Monday, May 16, Kia said.

In Seoul, a Kia spokesman confirmed the plant is scheduled to start operation on Monday as scheduled.

Kia said it plans to produce 100,000 units in 2016 before boosting its annual capacity to 300,000 units. That would raise Kia’s total production capacity to 3.49 million units — 1.63 million units in South Korea and 1.86 million units in overseas plants.

Kia said it plans to expand its presence in Central and South America as well as North America by taking advantage of Mexico’s many free-trade agreements to ship duty-free cars to most of those markets.

Meanwhile, Kia said its negotiations with the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon are still under way over incentives and other benefits. It did not provide details.

Kia Motors was promised, among other things, land for a plant free-of-charge and a five-year corporate tax exemption by the state of Nuevo Leon for its assembly plant.

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