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Kia Just Latest to Face Rollaway Problems

Korean maker recalls 377,000 Sorento CUVs because of transmission problem.

by on Oct.16, 2015

The recall covers 2011-2013 Kia Sorentos.

Kia has announced a recall covering nearly 400,000 late model Sorento crossover vehicles because the vehicles can unexpectedly pop out of the “Park” position and roll away.

The move comes in the wake of numerous complaints about the problem and the report of at least three injuries, including one in which a 10-year-old was hospitalized for three weeks as a result of a rollaway Sorento.

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Kia is just the latest in a long list of manufacturers who have faced rollaway problems, most due to defective transmissions that can unexpectedly jump out of Park – though Ford recently recalled nearly 500,000 vehicles at risk of rolling away because their engines wouldn’t shut off.


First Drive: 2016 Kia Sorento

Maker’s new SUV aims to compete with Grand Cherokee, MDX.

by on Dec.18, 2014

Kia is debuting a revised and refined version of the Sorento, which will reach showrooms in January as a 2016 model.

In recent years, Kia has proven adept at reading consumer trends.

In the immediate aftermath of the 2008-2009 recessions, the Korean automaker introduced the Kia Soul, a versatile, small vehicle designed to fit into tight urban spaces and appeal to the nascent “back-to-the-city” vibe among the rising millennial generation.

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As the demand for fuel efficiency has ebbed, Kia has deftly introduced its own version of practical luxury, the K900 earlier this year to catch the move towards expensive vehicle. Now with gas prices sinking and Americans clamoring for sport-utility vehicles, Kia is ready to bring on the revised and refined version of the Sorento, which will reach showrooms in January as a 2016 model. (more…)

New Look for Kia Sorento

Little hatchback borrows cues from edgy Cross GT concept.

by on Aug.13, 2014

Kia's new version of the Sorento will be longer, lower -- and a lot more stylish.

When the last generation Kia Sorento came out, the Korean carmaker seemed content to settle for me-too styling that was easily lost in the crowd.  Today, Kia has adopted a much more edgy and distinctive design language that’s readily apparent in these advance images of the next-generation sport-utility vehicle.

Set to make its formal debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show, the new Sorento is lower and longer, with additional space for passengers in all three rows, the maker promises. And it certainly won’t be lost in a crowded parking lot anymore, the new crossover model clearly showing the influence of not only other recent models, such as the K900 luxury sedan, but also the Cross GT show car that signaled the new brand styling theme.

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“While we have retained the name based on the tremendous success of the outgoing model, the all-new Sorento has been completely redesigned and re-engineered,” said Soon-Nam Lee, vice president of Kia overseas marketing, “and promises to surprise customers with its thoroughly updated styling, a host of new convenience and safety technologies, as well as enhanced space, driving comfort and handling response.”


Kia Moves Up-Market with Cross GT Concept

“Blurring the lines.”

by on Feb.07, 2013

The Kia Cross GT Concept hints at future plans for the Korean automaker.

Kia is the latest maker hoping to “blur the lines” between a luxury sedan and a three-row crossover with the new Cross GT Concept it has unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show.

It brings to mind the size gap between the 2- and 3-row versions of the Santa Fe launched this year by sibling maker Hyundai – but with more upscale accoutrements.

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“The debut of the GT in 2011 heralded a new frontier for Kia, both from a design and a business perspective,” noted Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors Corporation president and global chief of design.  “It beautifully illustrated to the world that the brand was ready to explore the possibility of perhaps one day offering a full-size rear-drive luxury saloon.  The Cross GT, with its raised stance and large cargo area, allows us to envision the GT in the form of a full-size luxury crossover.”


Fast-Growing Kia Expanding Georgia Plant

Sales booming, capacity growing to 360,000 vehicles.

by on Jun.02, 2011

Kia will begin producing the 2012 version of its Optima sedan at West Point later this year.

Fresh on the heels of a 53% jump in May sales, Kia has announced plans to spend $100 million on a series of expansion projects at its assembly plant in West Point, Georgia, as part of a plan to focus on domestic production for an expanding U.S. market.

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Inc. expects that by the time the project is through the still-new factory will see capacity jump by roughly 50%, to 360,00 units cars and crossovers annually.

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The expansion follows Kia Motors’ announcement at the 2011 New York International Auto Show that the award-winning Optima midsize sedan will be added to the plant’s production line.


Kia Confirms Plans To Build Hyundai Santa Fe At Georgia Assembly Plant

Maker claims “local” jobs will jump to 10,000 including suppliers.

by on Aug.31, 2010

Kia will add a second shift at its West Point, Ga., plant to build the Hyundai Santa Fe, opening up more capacity for Hyundai to build the Sonata at is plant in Montgomery, Ala.

Kia Motors Manufacturing has confirmed rumors it will add production of a second model at its recently opened assembly plant, in West Point, Ga.

Limited production of the Santa Fe, sold by sibling Korean carmaker Hyundai, will begin on Sept. 27.  The following month, Kia will launch a second shift at the Georgia assembly line.

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Current employment at the plant is about 1,900, and will grow to about 2,500 with the addition of the second shift. Including local suppliers and other support operations, Kia claims total Georgia employment for the plant will reach about 10,000.


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