Automotive News Europe (ANE) has reported that Kia Motors has no immediate plan to build its own assembly plant in Russia, dismissing a local press report that it is seeking to open an assembly factory in Russia to build 250,000 vehicles annually.

ANE said that Kia, a unit of Hyundai Motor, has been selling its Sportage sport utility vehicle since February 2002 by shipping completely knocked-down (CKD) parts to its Russian partner Avtotor, selling all Sportage vehicles built in Russia in the country.

"For the time being, Kia Motors will focus on selling cars in Russia with parts we supply to Russia," Kia Motors spokesman Lee Young-Kyu told ANE, adding: "Kia Motors will do its best to sell up to 7,000 units of Sportage in Russia on (a CKD basis) annually."

Automotive News Europe said Kia is also exporting completed Rio and Optima cars, Carnival mini vans and Frontier small buses to Russia and, in August, signed a memorandum of understanding with Izhmash Avto to supply parts to the Russian company to produce its compact Spectra locally from December next year.