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' InsideLine.com "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.