• Apr 22, 2011
2011 Kia Optima EX - Click above for high-res image gallery

The Kia Optima has been a resounding success from the minute the midsize sedan's redesigned 2011 model hit dealer showrooms. Optima sales have nearly doubled since its November introduction, which has helped the automaker claim a 36 percent sales increase on the year.

The Korean automaker seems to think the good times will continue into the future, announcing a third hiring wave at the Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia plant. The additional employees will help increase Optima output when the 2012 model arrives in the third quarter. This is good news for the red-hot Kia brand, and those looking for work in Georgia are likely excited as well. Kia says in the post-jump press release that its hiring spree will increase the workforce at the facility to 3,000 workers. Hit the jump to read over the official release.



Photos copyright ©2011 Dan Roth / AOL

[Source: Kia]
Show full PR text
Kia Motors today announced plans to expand production at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) with the addition of the critically acclaimed Kia Optima midsize sedan. The West Point, Georgia plant is scheduled to begin producing the 2012 model year Optima in the third quarter of 2011, and KMMG is currently accepting applications for a third wave of hiring to support the increased production. The total number of team members at KMMG is expected to reach nearly 3,000 later this year.

"The success of the West Point, Georgia plant and the high-quality Sorento CUV built there underscores the attention to detail and commitment to quality and craftsmanship exhibited by each KMMG team member and is the primary reason for Kia Motors' decision to add Optima to the plant's production line," said Byung Mo Ahn, group president and CEO, Kia Motors America (KMA) and KMMG. "Kia is experiencing tremendous growth in the U.S., and the increased volume at KMMG will create more jobs at the plant as well as nearby and on-site suppliers and is the latest demonstration of our unwavering commitment to the U.S. and local economies."

KMMG began producing the 2011 Sorento in November, 2009, and the CUV continually exceeded expectations and has been KMA's best-selling vehicle for 15 consecutive months. In 2010, the U.S.-built Sorento represented 30 percent of KMA's total sales. There are more than 2,300 team members currently at the plant, which produced more than 123,500 Sorento models in 2010. With a production capacity of up to 300,000 vehicles per year, KMMG is expected to generate more than 7,500 new on-site and local supplier jobs in addition to the 3,000 team members employed at the plant.

The Optima production announcement comes as Kia's U.S. sales and market share are rising as a result of the company's design-led transformation. After setting an all-time annual sales record in 2010, KMA reported the best monthly and quarterly sales results in company history in March. KMA's year-to-date sales are up more than 36 percent, and sales of the all-new Optima have nearly doubled since its arrival in Kia dealerships in November 2010.

The striking new 2011 Optima has been well received by consumers and the industry since its launch in fall 2010. This new chapter in the history of Optima is preceded by a slew of awards, including earning an overall five-star crash safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), being named a Consumer Guide® Automotive "Best Buy," a "Top Safety Pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an Edmunds' InsideLine.com "Editors' Most Wanted" and "Best New Model" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance.


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  • 21 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        789dm
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yes me too I thought I saw a Ford Mondeo but then I realized it a KIA like OMG i am digging a Korean car oh my how times have changed. Japanese Ugly American Improved so much, European still expensive to own and operate But Korean they really turning heads
      subierider
      • 3 Years Ago
      How about adding a manual tranny for the turbo model and a sports wagon model?
      mjsunkiter
      • 3 Years Ago
      I do not know how many people care about this, but the panel gasps in the Optima are tiny. Makes the quality at least seem excellent.
        mjsunkiter
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mjsunkiter
        I am sorry. I meant gaps. But when I saw them, I did gasp. ; )
      QAZZY
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's actually a good lookin' Kia. If there was ever a coupe version based on the Genesis, that would be probably the best looking Korean car.
      Evan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Was looking at a VW CC and this (an SX version with the hot wheels.) I can assure you, if I knew it was built in Georgia, it would be off the list of potential cars I'd purchase.
      Willie
      • 3 Years Ago
      Boy if there was ever an import that was testing my domestic loyalty it's this new Optima. These are so nice.
        Bryan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Willie
        Apparently you have not seen the 1990's interior.
        Rob92768
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Willie
        Willie...just remember that 3000 US employees assemble the KIA Optima at there plant in West Point, Georgia. It's a shame to see how many US automakers import from Canada and Mexico.
      Bryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Funny, I have only seen one on the road. Sorry, but the interior is complete trash. How many are going as rentals?
        BrandonH
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bryan
        I own one and the interior is one off the nicest I've ever seen short of a luxury brand. And to the person below that called it a 90's interior, maybe it doesn't translate well from a picture but I assure you it's thoroughly modern.
          BrandonH
          • 3 Years Ago
          @BrandonH
          Bryan, what model 1990''s GM car has an interior that looks like the Optima? That's crazy, have you actually sat in one? I just want to note that I did say was comparing this against interiors from other non-luxary brands. I have also owned the current model Camry and the current model Mazda6. The interior of the Optima is way nicer than either. About the only fault I have on the Optima interior is the texture of the leather on the heated leather steering wheel in my car, its a little rough. But hey, what other car in this price range even offers a heated leather steering wheel :)
          Bryan
          • 3 Years Ago
          @BrandonH
          You don't get out and see much, do you?
        jephmercury293
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bryan
        No offense, but Ward's automotive disagrees with you. http://www.autoblog.com/2011/04/11/wards-automotive-picks-best-car-interiors-of-2011/
          Bryan
          • 3 Years Ago
          @jephmercury293
          Good for them, they can drive it. I will take a vehicle with an interior that doesn't look like a 1990's GM interior. Gotta love the fan boys. I love Ford, but still tear them down when they do wrong.
      dontneedpants
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm still waiting to see one of the high-end models with the funky wheels. Are they even on the market yet?
        Brady Holt
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dontneedpants
        I've seen one on the street, and two (today) at a local Kia dealer.
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