Nissan isn’t the only automaker planning to build more cars on American soil. Kia has announced that it will build the Optima sedan at its Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia plant in West Point, Georgia. Production of the Optima will begin there this fall.
The KMMG plant opened in 2009 and began producing the Kia Sorento that November. The plant also started building the Hyundai Santa Fe in October 2010. Adding the Optima will require the factory to hire more workers, bringing total employment from 2300 to about 3000 people. Kia also expects the move will add 7500 supplier jobs in the area. KMMG has capacity to build up to 300,000 vehicles annually.
Kia said the high level of quality on the Sorento production line, as well as Kia’s rapid growth in the American market, fueled the decision to bring Optima production to Georgia. The automaker enjoyed record-breaking U.S. sales in 2010, and sales so far in 2011 are up 36 percent year-over-year.