Kia Motors expands jobs and buildings

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email

WEST POINT, GA (WTVM) -  Kia Motors Manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia recently announced they would be producing Optimas, and with that new task comes new facilities.

The area's biggest manufacturing plant is getting even bigger! Since their groundbreaking in 2007, Kia Automotives has added a third car model to their inventory: the Optima.

Vice President of Kia Motors Randy Jackson said, "We'll increase each particular shop either in construction addition or machinery addition to supply the additional volume we've got coming in the plant. We have a plan we're moving through this year and into 2012."

Those additions include bigger facilities, new equipment and an expanded production line.

"We're bringing in some new robots. We just brought the presses in from the Savannah port, and we have a second press going in. We have some additional lines going into assembly. Paint is also expanding with additional robots. The infrastructure is growing and coming together very well," explained Jackson.

And of course the company will have to bring on additional workers to make sure everything runs smoothly with the assembly of the Optima. Jackson tells News Leader Nine Kia is adding 1,000 new jobs, "The bulk of the employment is over but we'll continue to add and as we grow we will add more."

This entire expansion is an additional $100 million investment in the West Point facility.

"We're going to grow, we're going to add employment. We're going to add a third shift that is about ready to drop in to support the Optima. The bottom line is, we've grown tremendously and it has since day one and we're proud of the growth we're having," added Randy Jackson.

If you've driven past the Kia manufacturing plant lately you may have already caught a glimpse at some of the construction that is starting.

The Kia Optima is already in the trial production stage at the West Point plant, and the first completed car is expected to roll off the lines in August.

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