U.S.-based production for the 2012 Kia Optima was scheduled to begin this fall, but it seems it started a little early, as the first U.S. built Optima rolled off the line today at the Kia Motor Manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia.
More than 3000 jobs were created when a third shift was added at the plant for Optima production, with an expected 7,500 supplier jobs added within the area.
“Kia has become one of the fastest growing car companies in the U.S,” B.M. Ahn, group president and CEO of Kia Motors America, said in a prepared release. The addition of the critically-acclaimed Optima to the production line is further evidence of our commitment to the U.S. and local economy. The attention to detail and dedication to world-class quality shared by each team member is the primary reason for Kia Motors’ decision to invest an additional $100 million to expand the plant’s four main shops to support Optima production.”
Kia’s only North American plant is a powerhouse that recently built its 300,000th vehicle (a silver Sorento SX) less than two years after it buit its first. KMMG also currently builds the platform-mate Hyundai Santa Fe, and the division’s best-selling Sorento SUV, which was recently reported to have sold a cool 13, 573 units in August. The Optima sedan sold 6,157 units in that same time span, but the extra capacity