KIA Auto Supplier to Locate in Meriwether-- 300 Jobs

SEOUL- Wednesday, Governor Sonny Perdue announced that Korean automotive supplier Dongwon Autopart Technology will locate a facility in Meriwether County to serve the Kia Motors plant under construction in West Point.

The company will create 300 jobs and invest $30 million in the facility. Governor Perdue announced the project from Seoul, where he met with Kia suppliers as part of an economic development mission to Japan and Korea.

"It's great economic news for Georgia that a quality Kia supplier such as Dongwon has chosen to locate in our state," said Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. "As we work with Kia's trusted suppliers, I'm confident that Georgia will continue to benefit from the wave of economic growth sparked by the Kia plant."

Construction on the new facility in Meriwether Park is set to begin January 2008 and will be completed in late July 2008.  The new plant will be approximately 120,000-150,000 square feet, located half a mile from I-85 on State Highway 54.

Dongwon, which has been a Kia supplier for three years, will manufacture door frames, side impact beams, roof molding, side absorbers and cross bars for the new Kia facility.

"Dongwon Autopart Technology is proud to locate their second American facility in Meriwether County and is looking forward to becoming a vital partner in the community," said Jung Kwon (Charlie) Kim, executive director of Dongwon Autopart Technology. "Dongwon is committed to excellence by supplying internal and external customers with the highest quality products and service while providing an environment for all team members that fosters continuous improvement and teamwork."

"On behalf of the Board of Commissioners, we are honored and excited to welcome Dongwon to our county," said Charles L. Neely, chairman of the Meriwether County Commission. "Dongwon will bring new opportunities for employment, but more importantly, this is a great positive step for economic development in Meriwether County.  This new industry is the catalyst for bringing infrastructure to an area of our community that has needed it for many years."

Dongwon is the latest Kia supplier to announce plans for a Georgia facility.  Hyundai Mobis signed on in August to locate a facility in West Point, creating 600 jobs. Other automotive suppliers, including Pretty Products, DaeLim USA and Sumika Polymer Compounds America, Inc. have announced West Georgia facilities in recent months.

Dongwon, founded in Korea in 1971, has become a mainstay in the vehicle and steel industry.   Dongwon has become one of the leading Korean companies by founding a research institute in order to constantly improve its materials and products.  Through technical joint ventures with advanced manufacturers in Germany, America and Japan, Dongwon has acquired the newest automation equipment and has become a global player in the industry.

Governor Perdue's delegation is in Korea to call on companies, including several Kia suppliers before returning to the U.S. on October 19.  A copy of the Governor's itinerary is posted on the Web site, which will also be updated with news and photos during the course of the mission.

Courtesy Georgia Governor's Office