One millionth Kia vehicle arrives in the U.S. through the Port of Tacoma

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 15, 2011

Kia has shipped its one millionth Kia vehicle to American shores through the Port of Tacoma. The one millionth car is the 2011 Optima Hybrid was still wrapped in protective covering when it rolled off a ship on August 11.

Port of Tacoma commission president Connie Bacon congratulated Kia Motors for the milestone, saying that the South Korean carmaker brought in thousands of longshore hours for their local workers who drive the delivered cars off the ships as well as other jobs throughout the community. Bacon adds that she hopes to continue the long-standing relationship between their community and Kia Motors.

The Auto Warehousing Company with 200 employees has processed all Kia vehicles that go through the Port of Tacoma since 1995. Kia Motors America vice president of sales Tom Loveless says that the outstanding milestone shows the strength of the partnership between the carmaker and the Port of Tacoma and highlights the carmaker’s commitment to the United States market. Loveless says that they hope to bring in more of their products, including the Optima Hybrid.

The market share of KMA has been steadily growing since the carmaker started selling in the United States in 1994. The company has since reached the 350,000 unit sales goal. The company has gone through a design-focused transformation that has seen the rise of more dynamically styled cars in different segments. This has helped Kia gain more traction in the United States market.

The Optima Hybrid is the carmaker’s first-ever hybrid vehicle in the country and this was unveiled at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. It uses a full parallel hybrid system and can deliver zero emission driving when used in full-electric drive mode that can get speeds not more than 62 miles an hour. You can also drive in blended gas-electric mode, giving you more speed and performance.

The engine on the Optima Hybrid shuts off to reduce emissions and fuel consumption when it comes to a stop or when you have low electrical load. The vehicle utilizes a lithium polymer battery that was developed by LG Chem.

About Kia Motors America

Kia Motors America acts as the distribution and marketing arm of Seoul-based Kia Motors Corporation. KMA has a complete range of vehicles available in a network of at least 730 dealers found throughout the United States. Kia is the "Official Automotive Partner of the NBA." KMA recorded its best-ever sales in the US market as well as increasing market share for the 16th consecutive year in 2010. The company is ready to continue the momentum and will continue to improve the brand through quality, design innovation, safety features, new technologies, and value.

Press Release

One Millionth Kia Vehicle Comes Through the Port of Tacoma

The one millionth Kia vehicle to come into the United States through the Port of Tacoma – a 2011 Optima Hybrid, still covered in protective wrap – rolled off a ship at the Port's Blair Terminal on August 11.

"We congratulate Kia Motors on reaching this milestone at our Port," said Connie Bacon, commission president, Port of Tacoma. "Over the years, the Kia business in Tacoma has meant thousands of longshore hours for our International Longshore Workers Union Local 23 workers who drive the vehicles off the ships, and hundreds of jobs at AWC and throughout our community. We look forward to continuing this long-standing relationship with Kia Motors."

Since February 1995, Auto Warehousing Company (AWC) and its 200 employees have processed every Kia imported through the Port of Tacoma.

"This tremendous milestone demonstrates the strength of a long-standing partnership between Kia Motors America and the Port of Tacoma," said Tom Loveless, vice president of sales, Kia Motors America (KMA). "Kia's commitment to the U.S. market is reflected in our growth and long list of critically acclaimed products, including the all-new Optima Hybrid that is now arriving in dealer showrooms."

KMA's market share has grown each year since the company entered the U.S. in 1994, and last year the company eclipsed the 350,000 unit sales mark for the first time. 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.

The Optima Hybrid is Kia's first-ever hybrid vehicle in the U.S. market and was introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2010. The 2011 Optima Hybrid uses a full parallel hybrid system and can be driven in zero emission, full-electric drive mode at speeds up to 62 miles an hour, or in a blended gas-electric mode at any speed.

When the Optima Hybrid comes to a stop and the electrical load is low, the engine shuts off to completely idle fuel consumption and emissions. The vehicle uses a lithium polymer battery, developed in South Korea by LG Chem.

About Kia Motors America (KMA)

Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 730 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner of the NBA." In 2010, KMA recorded its best-ever U.S. sales and 16th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technologies.

Topics: kia, united states

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