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Why Kia Bet on Georgia

Incentives only part of the reasons for first U.S. assembly plant.

by on Nov.30, 2009

Eventually, Kia hopes to employ 2,500 workers at its new assembly plant in West Point, Georgia.

Eventually, Kia hopes to employ 2,500 workers at its new assembly plant in West Point, Georgia.

Just over three years ago, I attended the ground breaking ceremony for the new Kia factory in West Point, Georgia. The weather was soggy and damp and there wasn’t much to see beyond a hilly, 2,100- acre site that the Korean automakers promised to turn into one of North America’s assembly plant – a heck of a stretch for a company long known for building econocars using cheap labor.

But just a few weeks ago, as I turned off the specially constructed exit ramp and turned onto Kia Avenue, I had another chance to visit the site where my first glimpse revealed  an ultra modern, pristine automotive manufacturing campus gleaming in the warm sun. Three years had brought changes. Major changes.

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The factory was finished, the production line running, stamping presses installed, welding operations opened, paint shop ready and training of first employees had been completed.  The new, $1 billion factory was warming-up the production line to produce the new, 2010 Kia Sorento crossover vehicle.  Since my latest trip to Georgia, the facility has gone from prototypes to market-ready versions of the Sorento

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Kia Begins Production at First U.S. Plant

Maker aiming for big jump in sales and share.

by on Nov.16, 2009

The new Kia assembly plant, in West Point, Georgia, will eventually employ 2,500 workers and have a capacity of up to 300,000 vehicles annually.

The new Kia assembly plant, in Georgia, will eventually employ 2,500 workers and have a capacity of up to 300,000 vehicles annually.

A white Sorrento crossover vehicle rolled off the assembly line, in West Point, Georgia, today, marking the start of production at Kia’s first U.S. assembly plant.

The new, $1.2 billion facility will eventually employ 2,500 workers on the line, and another 7,500 to support the plant, the automaker said, with production capacity to reach 300,000 vehicles annually.

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“The start of production for our first manufacturing facility in the United States further demonstrates our commitment to growth in North America and we are proud to be adding 2,500 jobs to the local economy,” said B.M. Ahn, President and CEO, Kia Motors America (KMA) and KMMG, during a ceremony to mark the opening of the West Point plant.

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