Industry > Green

Kia transforms its first manufacturing plant into an EV-dedicated factory

Located in Gwangmyeong, home of Korea’s first vehicle assembly line

A new (and electric) chapter in the history of Kia. PHOTO FROM HYUNDAI MOTOR GROUP

The beginnings of Kia Motors Corporation date back to its first assembly plant in Gwangmyeong, established in 1973. About 50 years later, the genesis of the country’s automotive industry will be transformed into a dedicated electric vehicle plant.

In 1974, the Kia Brisa—a model based on the Mazda Familia—was the first production model made in South Korea. Fast-forward to 2024, the long-running facility will pivot to EV manufacturing and birth the production version of the EV3 compact crossover.

From licensed rebadges to homegrown platforms, Kia has been on a roll. PHOTOS FROM KIA

Hyundai Motor Group executive chair Euisun Chung said: “I am excited about the series of innovations in electrification that will start here at AutoLand Gwangmyeong, the group’s first EV-dedicated plant, and expand to Ulsan, the United States, and beyond.”

HMG’s carbon-neutral goals for 2045 will focus on a more sustainable manufacturing process utilizing renewable and solar energy. The revived Gwangmyeong plant will spearhead the Korean giant’s electrification efforts the same way it shook up the country’s economy half a decade ago.

Justin Young

Justin loves cars of all forms. Molded by motoring TV shows and Internet car culture, he sees the world from a different perspective that not many get to see every day.