2012 Kia Optima production kicks off in the U.S.

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 7, 2011

Kia’s U.S. sales climbed 36 percent in the second quarter of 2011, setting a new record for this quarter. The boost is mainly attributed to the demand for the new Optima. This prompted Kia to move production of the 2012 Optima sedan from its plant in South Korea to Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, its facility in West Point. This is also where the Sorento is being produced. Kia has added a third shift to cope with the demand.

It has also created the total number of jobs at the plant to over 3,000. These high-tech facilities were constructed as the result of $1 billion investment in the production lines that led to the start of delivery of the Sorento in November 2009.

Moving the Optima production to West Point has delighted parts suppliers that work with Kia. B.M. Ahn, group president and CEO of Kia Motors America (KMA) and KMMG, said that Kia was recognized for having one of the quickest growing car companies in the U.S. due largely to the KMMG.

Further proving Kia’s commitment is the addition of new team members. The Kia official said that each KMMG team member contributes by showing attention to detail and proving its dedication to world-class quality. This is Kia Motors' reason for investing $100 million more for the expansion of the plant's four main shops in support of the Optima production.

With its elegant yet dynamic appearance, the new Kia Optima promises to continue the carmaker’s penchant for building high quality yet emotional vehicles. Its stylish exterior is marked up front by a signature grille flanked by projector headlamps. Along with its distinct silhouette and sleek stance, the new Kia Optima features a coupe-like profile augmented by a unique design theme that visually lowers the Optima while enhancing its proportions. While its sweeping chrome arc runs from the A- to the C-pillars, its roofline links with its high shoulder line that flows through its flanks and its extended wheelbase (2,795 mm). On the other hand, its flared wheel arches as well as its raking rear window allow the new Optima to don a muscular stance.

In addition, the new Kia Optima is marked by a number of distinguishing exterior elements like the solar glass and indicators on the wing mirrors and its dual exhausts. There is also an array of elements that are added as standard, but it varies depending on the trim level chosen by the customers: heated exterior mirrors, fog lights, exterior chrome or body-colored door handles as well as 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 215/55 R17 tires.

For Optima models with higher trim levels, Kia added a distinct front grille design, HID headlights with auto leveling as well as LED rear lights and rear lip spoiler. Also added are aero wiper blades, sculpted side sills and red brake calipers as well as 18-inch black machined finish alloy wheels wrapped in 225/45 R18 tires. Meanwhile, the interior of the new Kia Optima has been generously and luxuriously equipped to the enjoyment and convenience of the driver. For instance, Kia has contoured the instrument panel towards the driver for a cockpit feel. This panel features precise gauges and controls that allow the driver to enjoy a sporty experience without having to suffer from lesser comfort or a cramped interior.

All automatic models of the Kia Optima sold outside North America are fitted with paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel while a high console is fitted with a short shifter. Customers may also avail of the optional glass panoramic sunroof. Moreover, the new Kia Optima comes standard with a number of modern features like six-way adjustable driver's seat with power lumbar support, a trip computer and illuminated vanity mirrors. All of these interior features and elements do not only complement the spaciousness and comfort offered by the new Kia Optima but also boost the convenience and enjoyment of its occupants.

Press Release

U.S. Production of the 2012 Kia Optima Begins at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia

Following the completion of a series of expansion projects to raise annual capacity, the first U.S.-built* 2012 MY Kia Optima midsize sedan rolled off the production line today at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG), joining the popular Sorento CUV as the second Kia vehicle to be produced at the West Point facility. In addition to the physical expansion, KMMG recently added a third shift that raised the total number of jobs created at the plant to more than 3,000.

"Kia has become one of the fastest growing car companies in the U.S. thanks in large part to the success of KMMG, the addition of new team members, and the critically-acclaimed Optima to the production line is further evidence of our commitment to the U.S. and local economy," said B.M. Ahn, group president and CEO of Kia Motors America (KMA) and KMMG. "The attention to detail and dedication to world-class quality shared by each KMMG team member is the primary reason for Kia Motors' decision to invest an additional $100 million to expand the plant's four main shops to support Optima production."

Representing an investment of more than $1 billion, KMMG began producing the Sorento on November 16, 2009. In addition to the jobs created directly at the plant, on-site and nearby suppliers have created another 7,500 new positions in the region to support KMMG's annual capacity of 360,000 vehicles in 2012.

Kia Motors has undergone a dramatic, design-led transformation, which has been delivering dynamically styled vehicles in several important segments at exactly the right time, contributing to the brand's continued gains in U.S. market share. Led by the best-selling Sorento, KMA completed an historic first half of 2011 with back-to-back best-ever quarterly sales and year-to-date sales have increased more than 40 percent over 2010.

*from U.S. and globally-sourced part

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