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.