Kia to build the 2012 Optima at its West Point assembly plant in Georgia

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 21, 2011

Kia Motors’ production in North America is expected to grow with the addition of the 2012 Kia Optima midsize sedan at its Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) in West Point. Start of production of the 2011 Optima is scheduled for the third quarter of 2011. To support the added production, KMMG has begun accepting job applications for its third wave. It’s estimated that KMMG will have almost 3,000 members later this year.

Byung Mo Ahn, group president and CEO, Kia Motors America (KMA) and KMMG, said that Kia added Optima to its production line primarily because of how successful the West Point is as well as the high-quality Sorento CUV that is built there. He added that Kia is growing quickly and with the increased volume at KMMG, more jobs are being created at the plant and at its on-site suppliers, demonstrating further its commitment to the U.S. and its local economies.

KMMG started production of the 2011 Sorento in November 2009. The CUV continued to surpass targets and it was the top-selling vehicle in Canada for 6 straight months. In 2010, the U.S.-produced stood for 18.9% of KCI’s total sales.

This plant currently has over 2,300 members, which built more than 123,500 Sorento units in 2010. KMMG is capable of producing as many as 300,000 vehicles annually and it is expected to build over 7,500 new on-site and local supplier jobs aside from the 3,000 team members who work at the plant. Kia announced where the Optima is being produced amid increasing sales and market shares due to the model’s design transformation.

Kia broke its annual sales records in 2010. It also had its best March sales and quarterly sales throughout KCI’s history. Last month, Kia launched the 2011 Optima. It has started to arrive in dealerships in Canada. Since the launch of the new 2011 Optima in the fall of 2010, it has been well received by consumers.

The Optima has earned many awards, including an overall five-star crash safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It was also named a Consumer Guide Automotive "Best Buy" and the "Top Safety Pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

It was recognized as Edmunds' "Editors' Most Wanted" and it even was given the 2011 red dot ‘best of the best’ title – the highest distinction in this competition. Priced from $21,995, the all-new 2011 Optima features a wide range of convenience and luxury.

Its instrument panel is contoured toward the driver, giving a cockpit feel with precise gauges and controls to achieve an overall sport performance experience without compromising spaciousness and comfort. The Optima has paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.

Adding to the cockpit feel is its high console with a short shifter. A panoramic sunroof is available to provide an open-air feeling. Occupants get more room and comfort with several convenience features that are offered as standard.

The chic cabin complements the exterior design with its lean and ergonomic seat design and effective storage. The cabin is luxurious with its modern equipment including heated front seats, a trip computer steering, and wheel audio controls.

Press Release


Kia Motors recently announced plans to expand North American production at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) with the addition of the critically acclaimed Kia Optima midsize sedan. The West Point, Georgia plant is scheduled to begin producing the 2012 model year Optima in the third quarter of 2011, and KMMG is currently accepting applications for a third wave of hiring to support the increased production. The total number of team members at KMMG is expected to reach nearly 3,000 later this year.

"The success of the West Point, Georgia plant and the high-quality Sorento CUV built there underscores the attention to detail and commitment to quality and craftsmanship exhibited by each KMMG team member and is the primary reason for Kia Motors' decision to add Optima to the plant's production line," said Byung Mo Ahn, group president and CEO, Kia Motors America (KMA) and KMMG. "Kia is experiencing tremendous growth and the increased volume at KMMG will create more jobs at the plant as well as nearby and on-site suppliers and is the latest demonstration of our unwavering commitment to the U.S. and local economies."

KMMG began producing the 2011 Sorento in November, 2009, and the CUV continually exceeded expectations and has been Kia Canada Inc.’s (KCI) best-selling vehicle for 6 consecutive months. In 2010, the U.S.-built Sorento represented 18.9 per cent of KCI’s total sales. There are more than 2,300 team members currently at the plant, which produced more than 123,500 Sorento models in 2010. With a production capacity of up to 300,000 vehicles per year, KMMG is expected to generate more than 7,500 new on-site and local supplier jobs in addition to the 3,000 team members employed at the plant.

The Optima production announcement comes as Kia's sales and market share are rising as a result of the company's design-led transformation. After setting an all-time annual sales record in 2010, the best March and quarterly sales results in KCI’s history were reported. The 2011 Kia Optima was recently launched last month and are currently arriving in dealerships throughout Canada.

The striking new 2011 Optima, designed by Peter Schreyer, Chief Design Officer, Kia Motors Corporation, has been well received by consumers and the industry since its launch in fall 2010. This new chapter in the history of Optima is preceded by a slew of awards, including earning an overall five-star crash safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), being named a Consumer Guide® Automotive "Best Buy," a "Top Safety Pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an Edmunds' "Editors' Most Wanted", and also claimed the 2011 red dot ‘best of the best’ title, the competition’s highest distinction, for which only the best products in each category are eligible.
About the 2011 Kia Optima
Starting at $21,995, the all-new 2011 Optima offers a wide array of convenience and luxury from the moment the doors open. The instrument panel is contoured toward the driver to suggest a cockpit feel with precise gauges and controls for an overall sport performance experience without sacrificing comfort or roominess. Available paddle shifters behind the steering wheel convey that Optima is built for people who are passionate about cars. A high console with a short shifter adds to the cockpit perception while an available panoramic sunroof provides an open-air feeling. Offering occupants both space and comfort with a number of standard convenience features, the sedan's chic cabin unifies with the exterior design by welcoming its passengers with lean and ergonomic seat design and effective storage throughout. Modern standard features such as heated front seats, steering wheel audio controls, and a trip computer further expand the cabin's luxurious qualities.

In addition to offering a comfortable cabin, impressive technology features also come standard throughout, including an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system with SIRIUS® Satellite Radio capabilities and three months complimentary service. Also standard on all trims are auxiliary and USB audio input jacks for connecting with MP3 players[2] and Bluetooth®[3] wireless technology connectivity with steering wheel-mounted voice activation controls to enable hands-free operation for compatible mobile phones.

Currently available with two all-new and fuel-efficient engines, a 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder, a 2.0-liter GDI turbo, a 2.4-liter hybrid engine will be available later this year, offering consumers even more impressive fuel economy.

About Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia
Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) is the first manufacturing site in North America for Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMMG is located on 2,200 acres in West Point, Georgia, and began mass production of the 2011 Kia Sorento on November 16, 2009. At full capacity, the plant will have the ability to assemble 300,000 vehicles annually from U.S. and globally sourced parts.

Topics: kia, kia optima

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