Kia West Point, George Plant now Open for Business
WEST POINT, Ga. Feb., 2010 – Officials with Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG), Inc. were joined by dignitaries from the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, the State of Georgia, local city and county officials to celebrate the official grand opening of Kia’s first-ever U.S. automobile manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, capable of producing 300,000 cars annually for the North American and global markets. The ceremony was attended by approximately 500 VIPs from Korea and the U.S., including Chairman of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group Mong-Koo Chung; Group President and CEO of KMMG and Kia Motors America (KMA) Byung-Mo Ahn; Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue; and a number of other high-ranking Korean government and State of Georgia officials. “Kia is proud to call West Point, Georgia home and we look forward to many years of growing together,” said Ahn. “Continued diligent work has helped elevate Kia to one of the fastest growing automobile brands around the globe. With the successful launch of the 2011 Kia Sorento CUV and establishment of our first manufacturing plant in the United States, the Kia brand is well positioned for further growth and to become a worldwide leader in quality and innovation.” Representing a $1 billion investment by Kia Motors Corporation, the sprawling, new 2.2 million-square-foot automobile manufacturing plant is situated on more than 2,200 acres of land between Exit 2 and Exit 6 along Interstate 85 in West Point. KMMG consists of four main shops: stamping, welding, paint and assembly. The site also includes a transmission shop, module shop and a two-mile test track where every vehicle produced by KMMG will be thoroughly tested. KMMG’s general assembly area is outfitted with more than a half mile of height-adjustable conveyors to achieve the most favorable installation position for each team member and reduce physical fatigue. It is outfitted with wood flooring, which provides a more comfortable and forgiving work environment for team members. Governor Perdue noted today’s event meant the continuation of a mutually beneficial partnership between the State of Georgia and Kia that will mean many great things for the State in years to come. “This is a momentous day for Georgia as Kia Motors has brought thousands of new jobs to this area, and is truly delivering as a tremendous corporate citizen,” said Governor Perdue. “We value our relationship with Kia and pledge to continue providing specialized training through the Kia Georgia Training Center that will guarantee a quality workforce and the future success of this plant in Georgia.” The massive Kia automobile manufacturing plant and its supplier companies have already provided thousands of jobs. KMMG currently employs more than 1,200 team members and is expected to nearly double that number by the end of the year, while onsite and nearby suppliers will create up to 7,500 additional jobs in the region. Randy Jackson, director of human resources and administration, said he was glad that KMMG could help give back to the local community through job creation, community development and tourism. “The Grand Opening marks a new milestone for Kia,” Jackson said. “Beginning this spring, we are pleased to open our doors to the community and have them see firsthand the quality and craftsmanship that is built into every Kia vehicle. We hope every Kia owner, and anyone thinking about purchasing a Kia, will visit us." Mass production of the all-new 2011 Kia Sorento CUV began on Nov. 16, 2009 with the product officially going on sale in the U.S. in January of this year. Selling 7,398 units in its first month, the 2011 Sorento was Kia’s best-selling vehicle in January. “The outstanding early performance of the first vehicle produced from our West Point, Georgia plant is a significant achievement for KMMG, KMA and the Kia brand as a whole,” said Ahn. “As we grow we will continue to expand our line of vehicles here and abroad while staying true to the Kia brand tenets of value, quality, safety and technology; and KMMG will play a prominent role in achieving our goals.” Press release via Kia
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