Kia Motors America, Inc. (KMA),the sales and marketing arm of the company, is based in Irvine, Calif. and along with KMMG, is dedicated to the strategies of its parent company, Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) of Seoul, South Korea. KMC, the fastest growing automaker in the world, was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. Kia means to “arise or come out of Asia” and Kia has truly risen as a global player, boasting an ever-expanding product line-up.
A few of the many significant events for Kia through the years include:
Today, the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group is the world’s fifth leading automotive manufacturer with group revenue of $100 billion in 2007 and over 120,000 employees worldwide.
Kia has managed some pretty incredible growth during the past few years, both in the number of dealers who sell Kia vehicles and in the number of owners who are driving them. Today, there are more than one-million Kia vehicles on American roads. With every year that passes, more and more people are discovering the value of owning a Kia.
The guiding principles are easily stated: “Provide high-quality, high value vehicles at prices well below the competition and back them up with the Kia 10-year/100,000-mile Warranty Program and a customer-first policy.”
Safety is always the priority, from concept to crash test. Kia Motors is determined that every one of its vehicles should always be as safe as possible, and this goal is ensured by a rigorous system of collision tests and simulations. Right up until the finished vehicle reaches the customer, Kia maintains a thorough customer-oriented quality control system, precisely assessing the customers’ needs and demands to enhance the production process.
March 13, 2006 — Kia President E.S. Chung and Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue sign the contracts for Kia to build its first North American automobile manufacturing facility on over 2,200 acres in West Point.
June 2006 — The State of Georgia begins site preparation at the 650-acre Kia building pad.
October 20, 2006 — A groundbreaking ceremony is held for KMMG.
November 12, 2007 — KMMG announces its first production vehicle will be the next generation Kia Sorento.
December 10, 2007 — The first beam is erected on the KMMG building pad.
January 8, 2008 — KMMG President/CEO Byung Mo Ahn and Team Members celebrate the opening of Kia’s online application process with Georgia Quick Start.
February 7, 2008 — KMMG’s first application process closes with an automotive industry benchmark-setting 43,013 applications received.
March 25, 2008 — KMMG and state officials celebrate the grand opening of the $20 million Kia Georgia Training Center in conjunction with Georgia Quick Start, the state’s workforce training program.
August 4, 2008 — The first hourly Team Members begin work at KMMG.
October 28, 2008 — KMMG President/CEO Byung Mo Ahn and Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue attend a celebration for the arrival of the stamping press at KMMG.
December 10, 2008 — Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue announces the opening of Exit 6 along Interstate 85, Kia Parkway and Kia Boulevard to the public.
March 27, 2009 — Team members begin moving to the plant site in West Point.
April 17, 2009 — All KMMG team members move to the plant site.
November 16, 2009 — KMMG starts mass producing the 2011 Kia Sorento.
February 26, 2010 — KMMG celebrates grand opening with ceremony attended by Hyundai Automotive Group Chairman M.K. Chung and Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue.
April 21, 2010 — KMMG produces 50,000th vehicle.
May 7, 2010 — Second job application process concludes with 44,507 applicants.
September 2, 2010 — Production of 100,000th vehicle.
September 27, 2010 – Start of production of 2nd vehicle, 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe.
October 7, 2010 – KMMG launches 2nd shift.
November 18, 2010 – KMMG announced the re-opening of online application process for the 3rd wave of hiring.
April 13, 2011 – Arrival of second stamping press, first major equipment of plant expansion.
April 21, 2011 – Announcement that KMMG will be producing the 2011 Kia Optima later in 2011.
May 4, 2011 – KMMG Donates $1.5 million to the American Red Cross for tornado disaster relief in Georgia.
May 27, 2011 – KMMG receives ISO-TS 16949:2009 certification.
June 13, 2011 – KMMG launches a 3rd shift of production.
July 7, 2011 – KMMG produces 300,000th vehicle.
Sept. 2, 2011 – KMMG starts mass production of the 2012 Kia Optima.
Sept. 12, 2011 – Kia Optima Hybrid achieves Guinness World Record for best fuel economy traveling 48 contiguous US states at 65 mpg.
Oct. 31, 2011 – KMMG produces 400,000th vehicle.
Nov. 14, 2011 – KMMG closes third wave of hiring with 45,745 applications received.
Jan. 2, 2012– KMMG completes an expansion, increasing the plant’s full production capacity to 360,000 vehicles annually.
Feb. 21, 2012 – KMMG recognized as best manufacturer by LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce.
Feb. 29, 2012 – KMMG produces 500,000th vehicle.
April 19, 2012 – KMMG was named the State of Georgia’s Large Manufacturer of the Year.
June 7, 2012 – KMMG officials join City of West Point officials for the grand opening of the city’s new fire station on Kia Parkway.
Aug. 22, 2012 – Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Mong-Koo Chung is joined by U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia for an official visit at KMMG.
Nov. 20, 2012 – KMMG pledges $900,000 to the SAE Foundation impacting STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education in Troup County.
Nov. 28, 2012 – It is announced that Kia Motors will be making a significant investment of $1.6 billion in efficiencies and equipment at the KMMG facility.
Dec. 21, 2012 – KMMG provides $400,000 in funding support to the Troup County Development Authority.
June 26, 2013 – KMMG provides $600,000 in funding for Troup County’s career academy.
June 27, 2013 – KMMG donates $850,000 to the City of West Point.
July 11, 2013 – KMMG produces 1,000,000th vehicle.
Sept. 9, 2013 – Announces growth to more than 14,000 direct and indirect jobs due to localization.
Nov. 12, 2014 – KMMG produces 1,500,000th vehicle.
Nov. 16, 2014 – KMMG celebrates five years since the start of production.
Nov. 17, 2014 – KMMG launches all-new 2016 Kia Sorento.
June 17 – 2015 – Sorento named 2015 IQS winner by JD Power
Sept. 28, 2015 – KMMG launches all-new 2016 Kia Optima
The Kia Way Our Foundation