Kia Motors’ European staff will have just a short walk to the Frankfurt motor show, from late next year.
Just days after the parent company announced plans for a new US ‘campus’ in southern California, its European operation said it would build a new headquarters building in the centre of Frankfurt.
The new 11-floor building, worth €57 million, will be built on land in the Frankfurt Messe convention centre, where the bi-annual international motor show is held, and will open in October 2006.
Kia’s current European headquarters is in the suburb of Eschborn on the outskirts of Frankfurt.
The move comes as Kia continues its dramatic growth throughout Europe with more than 26,000 vehicles sold during the first quarter of 2005 – a 72% increase over 2004 – and 10 central European markets are added to the Frankfurt office’s area of responsibility.
In the UK alone, March saw a dramatic increase in Kia sales – with more than 7,300 new vehicles delivered for a 57% increase over March last year.
With construction at the company’s first European production plant in Zilina, Slovakia, well under way a new headquarters is essential to support the brand’s future throughout Europe, Kia said in a statement.
The site in the Frankfurt Messe – home to the former Hall Seven – covers 4,000 square metres and the building will provide 26,000 square metres of space for 350 staff.
It will house a European IT hub, sales and service training and the base for pan-European sales, marketing and support staff.
Kia Motors Europe’s senior vice president, Jean-Charles Lievens said: “This new headquarters building, combined with Kia’s investment in Slovakia, is a clear indication of the importance of the European market to the company.”