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Officially confirming what we've all but known for some time now, Kia announced this morning that its West Point, Georgia plant will add a second vehicle to its production line, the 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe. The move will also be paired with the addition of a second shift beginning October 1, although limited production of the Santa Fe is earmarked to ramp-up on September 27.

The move hasn't been driven by a need to consolidate as much as it is Hyundai-Kia's need to find capacity to keep up with demand. The Sorento crossover, which is also produced at the plant, is currently Kia's hottest-selling model, and Hyundai needs additional room to build more Sonata sedans at its Alabama facility, so it makes good sense to dual the two, especially as they share a sizable amount of components.

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, which opened just last November, has an annual capacity of some 300,000 units, so there's room to grow.

[Source: Kia]


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  • 26 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      that's one big ass factory.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You should the Ulsan, South Korea plant. The Ulsan plant is the largest auto plant in the world.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Enjoy your red bar, Brian."
      Oh I guess I should lie to get a green bar?

      That's because all you fan boys don't like to hear the truth!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Silly Brian, unwarranted hate is for the KKK!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bravo!
      Thanks for producing Americans jobs, Kia.
      Your products & practices get better every year.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Plus over half of Hyundai/Kia are made in S. Korea with all foreign parts!"

        So, Brian, you don't like it when Hyundais are made in South Korea, and you don't like it when Hyundais are made in America. If you start spouting more nonsense about where the "profits go", I'm gonna scream.

        I'd point you to the article from a few months ago that determined the Toyota Camry uses more domestic parts than any car on the road today, but you clearly aren't concerned with facts and figures, so I won't bother.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @KGavar - you might be right actually, the article I originally found for Mustang was 2009, and 2010 was the new engine...Camaro and Challenger were at 56%. Good ol'American muscle!

        http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?section=top&subject=ami&story=amMade0709

        @Brian W - here is my 'propaganda' where is your 'lose facts'?
        http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?section=top&subject=ami&story=amMade0710&referer=&aff=cartalk

        Ford F150 is at 55% my mistake, Tundra is at least 75% to make the list.
        • 4 Years Ago
        " Ford, Chevy and Chrysler already out source the majority of their parts to China and India and have them shipped over to be assembled in America."

        The majority? Where did you get that lie from?
        Plus over half of Hyundai/Kia are made in S. Korea with all foreign parts!
        Only one Toyota has 90% parts because they compete with mostly American trucks, that makes up for ALL the rest?
        You're the one spreading propaganda!
        You need to do some more reading!


        • 4 Years Ago
        rudyherfurth,

        the 2010 mustang v6 (and earlier) had a german engine and french transmission, that's why their domestic content was lower (it goes by value of parts). The V8's were US made. The new engine/transmissions for the 2011 for both the V6 and the V8s are all US made.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Bull!
        That's the myth that they want you to believe!
        They eliminate 2-3 jobs for everyone they create!
        You're rooting for Americans to be put out of work!
        • 4 Years Ago
        It is great news for Hyundai / Kia and Georgia. With the Sonata keeping the folks in Alabama too busy, this is great for Georgia. At the rate of growth, and depending on the success of the upcoming Elantra / Forte / Tuscon / Sportage / 'Veloster', there may very well be another plant opening up in the US.

        Not sure how Hyundai and Kia are putting Americans out of work. Ford, Chevy and Chrysler already out source the majority of their parts to China and India and have them shipped over to be assembled in America. A Mustang and F150 carry 60% domestic parts, where's a Toyota Tundra for example carries 90% and is assembled in the US. Stats are found on www.cars.com

        UAW / CAW propaganda again?
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's my hometown! Kia has actually saved the area, as we used to rely HEAVILY on textile production. There were about 5 massive mills (weaving, dying, etc) in the area that have ALL shut down, leaving a large percentage of the labor force out of work. When the Kia plant was announced, the entire town rallied and welcomed the Koreans. We now have more Korean BBQ houses than regular BBQ houses, lol.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Bulgogi?! OM NOM NOM NOM NOM
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good for Hyundai, and Georgia.
      jhnjwhitson
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is 2012 Sorento made by UAW workers?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I find it surprising that Hyundai are 'trying' to find extra production for their vehicles. Anyone who's internal to Hyundai or visited the plants can see they have a huge surplus of vehicles. The last time I visited the plant (early 2010), they acres and acres full of Sonatas ranging back to 2008.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Really?

        Because that plant ain't producing Sonatas, it's only produced the Sorento and will now start producing the Santa Fe as the article mentioned. Perhaps you should try spreading your lies somewhere else.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The 2011 Sonatas are selling very well. The 2008-2010 are the previous model.

        I just visited my local Hyundai dealer for oil change service and there were only 3 new Sonatas in the lot. I always stop by the lot when I get an oil change and I've never seen anything like that before. In the past, there were always 10-20 Sonata's in the lot.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Correct, the Sonata is built at the other GA/Alabama plant. However, the Santa Fe is built at the Sonata plant as well. Since they are owned by the same parent company, they build cars to the same production schedules no matter the brand (Hyundai/Kia).

        To clarify on how Hyundai's US production cycles work, they max out their production volume w/o caution to the market demands at the time. If you talk to anyone within the organization, they'd inform you they have tens of thousands of excess production from the last few years and now sitting on the factory lots, auxiliary lots, train ports, and shipping ports.

        No worries, no need to spread lies. Only informing people of the truth behind automotive manufacturing. Well... at least how Hyundai/Kia does it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "they'd inform you they have tens of thousands of excess production from the last few years and now sitting on the factory lots, auxiliary lots, train ports, and shipping ports."

        Sorry, either this is very old news from a few years ago or this is pure BS. Hyundai was blowing out the 2010 Sonatas before the 2011s hit the dealers. Considering that Hyundai is far from averse to using incentives, I'm finding the alleged "news" that there are still 2008 Sonatas piled up in Alabama that Hyundai didn't move with massive incentives or giveaways to fleets more than a bit ridiculous. I'd believe this more of Chrysler than Hyundai (see "Crossfire").

        As for Sonata shortages, they were biased toward the higher end models than the base ones. Last time I checked several Hyundai dealers in my area the Sonata SE is the one with more limited availability than the GLS. About the only GLS with limited availability is the manual transmission model.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So is Optima production still going there too? And if so, when does it start?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I believe the Optima is already built with the Sorento since the Sorento is based on the Optima.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Cool.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hey im not the biggest fan of Korean cars, but if they're puttin Americans to work, then i'll take it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It might not be perfectly ideal--but I'll take Americans being put to work as well.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I agree XJ, the new model is selling pretty well. Although the new model isn't my cup of tea, the new model is definitely making strides in quality and looks.

      When the last model originally came out, they were in low availability on dealer lots as well. That is partially due to push the higher profit trims versus the lower prices bare bones trims. You'll see dealer availability open up as they focus production on lower trim Sonatas

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