KIA Motors Mexico changes export plans amid Trump threats

Korean automaker KIA will export cars made in its new Mexico plant to South America, the Middle East and Africa instead of the U.S. amid Trump's threats of imposing a 'big border tax'

English 25/01/2017 18:06 Sara Cantera Mexico City Actualizada 18:06

In order to not depend on exports to the U.S., Korean automaker KIA will export from Mexico the new Rio model to 80 countries in South America, the Middle East and Africa, according to Arturo Escamilla, KIA's product manager.

Of the 400,000 units the company will produce each year in Mexico, 60% correspond to the Forte model and 40% fo the Rio model.

The Pesquería, Mexico plant began operating in May 2016.

Since May, KIA has manufactured 110 thousand Fortes, 60 thousand of which were sold locally in Mexico, said Woo Yeal Park, president of KIA Motors México.

The Korean automaker had originally plan to export most of its Forte models made in Mexico to the United States, but the company has since scrapped those plans and is looking for other options given the possible cancellation of the NAFTA or new border taxes.