Jun 03, 2011 08:40 Asia/Seoul Time Zone
Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia begins expansion projects to support increased volume starting in 2012
  • - Annual capacity to be raised from 300,000 to 360,000 vehicles starting in 2012
    - Expansion projects represent additional $100 million investment and 1,000 new jobs
    - Award winning Optima sedan to be built alongside Sorento CUV starting in September 2011
SEOUL--(Korea Newswire) June 3, 2011 -- Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG), Kia Motors Corp’s vehicle production facility in the U.S., 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 growth 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.

Beginning in September 2011, the 2012 model year Optima will be built alongside the Kia Sorento CUV, which has been the brand’s best-selling vehicle each month since arriving in dealerships 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, and 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.”

Representing an additional $100 million investment by Kia Motors in the $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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