On Nov. 16, 2009, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) began mass production of the 2011 Kia Sorento, the first vehicle produced at the brand new state-of-the-art facility in West Point, Ga.There were several important events leading up to that momentous day at Kia’s first North American automobile manufacturing plant including the announcement on March 13, 2006, that a Site Acquisition and Development Agreement had been signed between the State of Georgia and Kia Motors America (KMA), Kia’s sales and marketing headquarters in the United States, to bring the $1 billion plant to the 2,259-acre site in Georgia. This project is the largest in the state’s history.
A grand opening ceremony was held at the plant on Feb. 26, 2010, and attended by guests from across the world, including Mr. M.K. Chung, chairman of the Hyundai Motor Group, and Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue.
Since then, the Kia Sorento has taken off as the most successful Kia vehicle of all-time in the U.S., leading the way with record-breaking sales since production began. This is a testament to the focus and pride each KMMG team member places on building a quality vehicle.
“People are the heart and soul of this company,” said Mr. Byung Mo Ahn, the group president and CEO of KMA and KMMG. “The ongoing devotion of our Team Members greatly contributes to the remarkable success of Kia in both quality and sales.”
KMMG has now hired more than 3,000 team members at its West Point location. When factoring in positions created at suppliers throughout the region, more than 14,000 jobs have been created in association with KMMG.
In April of 2011, KMMG began a $100 million expansion project that would increase the plant’s capacity from 300,000 to more than 360,000 vehicles per year, starting in 2012.
On Sept. 2, 2011, KMMG officially began mass production of its second Kia product, the 2012 Optima and now has three full shifts operating at the plant 24 hours a day/five days per week.