Now that the USA is no longer its biggest export market, Kia Motors Corporation is reorganising in Europe to fully reflect the new-found importance of that market and will move its eastern Europe HQ from Warsaw in Poland to Moscow in Russia.

In 2003, 29% of Kia exports from Korea were destined for Europe. In 2004 that figure rose to 35% and during 2005 it is expected to reach 46% of total exports. As well as export sales, demand from Europe  will also be met from late 2006, by locally built models from the Korean automaker's new Slovakia plant.

"Acknowledging the growing importance of Europe to the Kia Motors Corporation and anticipating future trends, Kia is realigning its organisation for the years ahead, by moving its Eastern Europe headquarters from Warsaw to Moscow," said Kia Motors Europe president Kyung-Soo Lee.

"From 1 April, we will bring the sales operations in eight countries of eastern Europe under the control of Kia Motors Europe based in Germany. The countries which will in future report to KME are Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

"For the end of 2005, we predict sales of 330,000 units across both Western and Eastern Europe," Lee added.