Output at Kia’s Zilina, Slovakia, factory is expected to approach pre-credit crunch levels after launching the redesigned Sportage compact sport utility vehicle.

The plant, with annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles, builds the Ceed car line, Sportage and Hyundai ix35 SUV which spares its platform with the new Kia and recently replaced the Tucson. The factory is one of Slovakia’s top exporters.

“We plan to produce more than 35,000 units of this SUV model this year,” Kia Motors Slovakia chief executive In-Kyu Bae told Reuters on Friday. He expects 2010 production to top 200,000 units, up from 150,020 last year.

Production reached 201,000 units in 2008.