Kia Supplier No Longer Coming to Columbus

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - Columbus was supposed to be benefiting from the new Kia plant in Westpoint...but now, promises of jobs and millions of dollars in investment are no longer coming to the Fountain City.

Wednesday, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce announced the loss of Kia supplier Dong-Nam Tech.

The company was supposed to build a factory in the Columbus Technology Park, but because of harsh economic conditions, the company was taken over by a bigger organization, NVH Korea, and the new owners nixed the idea of the Columbus expansion.

"It was heartbreaking. We had been working with the company to try and salvage the deal since the 4th quarter of last year. The new organization hasn't decided what if anything they will do in the U.S. at this time," said Becca Hardin, Vice President of Economic Development for the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.

$29 million in capital investment and 350 jobs have been lost with the deal falling through.

They company was supposed to supply cargo liners and floor mats for Kia.

Hardin acknowledges the economy has been tough on job seekers in Columbus, and new companies being lured into the city have put their projects on hold with the financial crisis.

The chamber does expect things to turn around at the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010, with more jobs coming as Fort Benning expands.