The Picanto is built under a joint-venture arrangement with Donghee Auto Company at a highly modern factory in Seosan, a few kilometres from Kia’s Hwasung plant.
Donghee also makes the Kia Ray, a small hatchback for sale in the Korean domestic market only. The factory produces a total of 230,000 vehicles a year, of which 90,000 are exported. Originally, DAC was a parts supplier providing suspension, sunroofs and fuel tanks to Kia. DAC decided to diversify into contract manufacturing in 2001, and in 2004, when Kia needed more production capacity in Korea, it took on building the Picanto.
Constant efforts are being made to minimise the plant's effect on the environment. There have been major initiatives to increase recycling, reduce the amount of pollutants and waste in the production process, lower greenhouse gas emissions and cut air pollution through more eco-friendly production systems. Energy-saving measures have also been introduced and Seosan has a target of zero landfill scrap disposal.
Kia has made reducing the amount of raw materials being fed into the production process a major priority in all its production facilities around the globe. The last few years have seen significant progress in reducing waste, increasing recycling and developing cleaner production processes. Across all Kia facilities, new technology is playing a significant part in environmental improvement.