Kia executives and regional politicians were shoulder-to-shoulder this week when the Korean automaker held the grand opening ceremonies for its new manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia. The plant, which was a $1-billion investment on Kia’s part, sprawls over 2200 acres and will serve as the manufacturing base for the 2011 Kia Sorento.
Today, the facility employs 1200, but Kia expects to double that number by the end of the year. The automaker also estimates that the plant will create 7500 jobs in the region.
The plant is comprised of four main shops: stamping, welding, paint, and assembly. The facility is also home to a transmission assembly line and a 2-mile test track. With its half-mile of height-adjustable conveyors, the plant has an annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles.
The 2011 Sorento boasts a 174-horse, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine as standard equipment. Optional equipment includes a third-row seat and a 277-hp, 3.5-liter V-6. Pricing starts at $20,790.