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Kia and Aymesa Announce $62 Million Investment to Assemble Five New Vehicle Models in Ecuador by 2026

Published on June 10, 2024

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Projection is to produce 22,000 vehicles and generate 750 jobs alongside greater production of auto parts: a sector facing upheaval after the panned departure of General Motors.

The Ecuadorian automotive industry is undergoing significant changes with new investments and models slated for assembly by 2026. This development follows a meeting between directors of Kia Ecuador, Aymesa—which assembles models of the South Korean brands Kia and Hyundai—representatives of auto parts companies, and the Chamber of the Ecuadorian Automotive Industry (Cinae), alongside Vice Minister of Production Fernando Pérez.

During the meeting, held at Kia Ecuador’s headquarters in Quito, participants discussed strategies for business continuity, including developing local auto parts to promote national vehicle production. The focus was also on fostering investment, technological transfers, and job creation.

This comes in a context where the automotive industry will lose its main player at the end of August with the closure of the General Motors OBB plant, which assembles Chevrolet vehicles, including the best-selling Chevrolet D-Max pickup truck. In Ecuador, GM holds a 51% share of vehicles assembled by brands, according to the latest figures from Cinae.

Last April, when GM announced the cessation of assembly operations in Ecuador (GM OBB) and Colombia (Colmotores), it explained that the decision was part of a transition towards a model focused on “national vehicle marketing and after-sales service, aiming to support the launch of next-generation vehicles with a world-class portfolio and exceptional customer experience and after-sales services.”

According to the Cinae report, 42% of Chevrolet’s portfolio in the country comprises locally assembled vehicles, while 58% are imported models.

Aymesa projects an investment of more than $62 million, aiming to create productive chains and promote the national production of auto parts and vehicles. The objective is to optimize the sector’s productivity and competitiveness, with an estimated production of over 22,000 units and the assembly of five new models by 2026.

The nine models from six brands assembled in Ecuador

According to the latest Cinae report, after GM OBB (51%), the brands with the highest share of vehicles assembled in Ecuador are the Chinese brands Great Wall, Shineray, and KYC, which are assembled in the Ciauto plant, holding 23.4% of the market. The models assembled in Ecuador for these brands represent 46% of their portfolio in the Ecuadorian market.

Kia follows with 19.4%, and Hyundai with 6.1%, both assembled in Aymesa. The locally assembled models account for 20% and 18% of their portfolios, respectively.

With this comprehensive plan for growth in production and investment, it is projected that the auto parts segment will have a turnover of approximately $50 million by 2026.

“The decision to increase investment in the Aymesa plant aims to promote the economic and social development of the country while offering high-quality and high-performance vehicles to customers. Through a holistic strategy, Kia and Aymesa seek not only to increase production capacity but also to attract more foreign investment, promote technology transfer, and generate more than 750 new jobs,” Kia and Aymesa highlighted in a statement.

Additionally, Aymesa indicated it will focus on optimizing its production processes to reduce environmental impact and promote energy efficiency in its operations. Vice Minister Pérez expressed the Government’s full support for this initiative and its role in developing new strategies for the sector.

1 Comment

  1. I was hopping they announced that they will be producing electric cars. But since they do not mention it, then it is likely internal combustion engines. What a shame, on a time that the rest of the world is embracing electric cars.


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