Kia Increase U.S. Production to Keep Up with Optima Demand

By Jacob Brown | February 10, 2012
Riding the good vibes from its record sales year in 2011 and its humorous advertising campaigns of late, Kia has had to make tough decisions on what to do with its at-capacity manufacturing and its inability to keep up with demand. It was announced some time ago that the Korean automaker would be expanding its West Point, Ga. plant to accommodate heightened demand for its products. But at the Chicago Auto Show this week, Kia confirmed its entire expansion would go toward building 60,000 more Kia Optima sedans for 2012 and beyond. Expected to be Kia's best-selling vehicle this year, the midsize Kia Optima skyrocked to 85,490 units sold last year in its first full year of production. Kia expects 2012 to be even better for the Optima, introducing its luxury-lined Optima Limited at the Chicago Auto Show. Last year, Kia sold 485,492 vehicles in the U.S., most of which were made domestically. Only the Kia Rio subcompact, Soul crossover, Forte compact, and Optima Hybrid are manufactured in South Korea for the U.S. market, but the increased popularity of its cars and crossovers has at times forced Kia to look to its overseas plants to meet U.S. demand. Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)