► Kia builds its millionth Ceed
► Success story for Skovak factory
► Landmark production takes nine years
Kia has built the one millionth Ceed at its European factory, marking nearly a decade since the Korean brand turned around its fortunes.
The 2006 Ceed was a line in the sand for Kia, transforming the brand from cheap eastern import to proper European challenger.
It was the first Kia to be built in Europe for continental customers, at a new factory in Zilina, Slovakia. The step-change in quality and dynamics warranted a new name (with some appalling punctuation which we at CAR over-rule – it should be cee’d) and the company has now expanded the range into a choice of bodystyles.
Kia Ceed: a big seller in Europe
The Ceed is the second-highest selling Kia in Europe, accounting for one in five sales here. That’s 75,960 in 2014 – second in popularity only to the Sportage SUV, also manufactured in Zilina.
The identity of the millionth Ceed? It was a white 201bhp 1.6 turbo GT five-door, built in left-hand drive and destined for a Dutch customer.