Breaking GroundOfficials 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.
Representing a $1 billion investment by Kia Motors Corporation, the sprawling, new 2.2 million-square-foot (204,000 meter-squared) automobile manufacturing plant is situated on more than 2,200 acres of land. MMG 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.
KMMG's cutting-edge technology ensures high productivity and high efficiency for each process. The stamping press delivers 5,400 tons of pressure and an automatic panel loading system; the fully automated welding shop boasts 242 welding robots; the paint shop uses eco-friendly, water-soluble coatings; and various systems are in place to keep inventory to a minimum via timely parts delivery.
"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."
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.