Veteran Kia Motors Corp. executive Myung-Chul Chung is the new CEO of the carmaker's Slovakian subsidiary.
Chung, who has served as vice-chairman for public procurement and sales at Kia Slovakia since 2005, will replace In-Kyu Bae, who will return to the company's headquarters after six years in Slovakia, Kia said.
In December, Kia said it expects to increase output at its Zilina, Slovakia, factory by 5.3 percent this year, led by rising demand for SUVs.
The unit plans to assemble about 240,000 vehicles in 2011 in Zilina, said Dusan Dvorak, a spokesman for the company. The factory will also increase production of engines by 50 percent to 450,000 units, he added.
Kia and its affiliate Hyundai Motors Co. are seeking to tap rising demand for SUVs to gain market share in Europe.
SUVs have represented more than half of Kia's Slovak output in 2010, up from about 20 percent in 2009 when 150,000 cars were assembled, Dvorak said.
The carmaker began to produce a new generation of its Sportage SUV and started assembly of Hyundai's ix35 SUV in 2010. It also makes Cee'd compact cars in the 1 billion-euro factory ($1.3 billion) that became operational in 2006.
In December, Kia said it would begin production of a new model at the Zilina factory in 2012.
Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this story