Kia expands production in the U.S.

Monday, 6 June 2011

  •  Kia Optima production increased to cater for strong U.S. demand
  • Optima saloon to be built alongside Sorento SUV at Kia's U.S. plant
  • Georgia plant production to be increased to 360,000 units per year

Kia Motors is to increase production of its new Optima model with the expansion of its U.S. manufacturing plant in Georgia from September 2011 to cater for U.S. demand for the D-segment saloon.

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) has begun a series of expansion projects in each of the plant's four main shops - stamping, welding, paint and general assembly - to raise annual capacity to 360,000 vehicles starting in 2012. 

The Kia Optima will be built alongside the Kia Sorento SUV, which has been the brand's best-selling vehicle in the U.S. each month since going on sale there in January 2010.

In addition to the physical expansion, KMMG has completed the hiring process for nearly 1,000 new team members in preparation for the addition of a third shift - which begins later this month - bringing the total number of jobs created at the plant to more than 3,000.

"The success of the West Point, Georgia plant is the result of the dedication of our team members and the world-class quality that goes into each vehicle we build, the increased volume and addition of new team members is further evidence of our commitment to the U.S. and local economies," said Byung Mo Ahn, Group President and CEO of Kia Motors America and KMMG.

"Kia is experiencing unprecedented growth in the U.S., led by the best-selling Sorento, and with demand for the critically acclaimed Optima currently outpacing supply we are proud to add the popular sedan as the second Kia vehicle on the production line," he added.

Representing an additional U.S. $100 million investment by Kia Motors in the U.S. $1 billion West Point facility, the projects underway at the plant include:

  • A second 5,400-ton transfer press is being installed in the stamping shop
  • Additional robots are being added to the welding shop
  • The size of the paint shop is being increased to accommodate the complexities involved with producing a third model
  • The production line is being extended within the existing facilities and new equipment will be installed inside the general assembly shop
  • The railroad spur is being expanded to efficiently handle the additional volume
  • More than 500 additional parking spaces are being added in the team member parking area


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