Korean automaker Kia has officially begun production of the 2012 Optima. The midsize sedan is now being churned out at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, which is located in West Point. Build alongside the Sorento, the 2012 Optima is the second Kia vehicle built at the company's Southern plant. Previously, the Optima was built only in South Korea.

As is generally required for this sort of thing, Kia is adding more workers to the KMMG facility as production expands. More than 3,000 new employees will be joining the thousands already working for Kia. The KMMG plant is capable of producing 360,000 vehicles per year, and it will be all hands on deck as Kia strives to maximize output.
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U.S. Production of the 2012 Kia Optima Begins at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia

WEST POINT, Ga., Sept. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Following the completion of a series of expansion projects to raise annual capacity, the first U.S.-built* 2012 MY Kia Optima midsize sedan rolled off the production line today at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG), joining the popular Sorento CUV as the second Kia vehicle to be produced at the West Point facility. In addition to the physical expansion, KMMG recently added a third shift that raised the total number of jobs created at the plant to more than 3,000.

"Kia has become one of the fastest growing car companies in the U.S. thanks in large part to the success of KMMG, the addition of new team members, and the critically-acclaimed Optima to the production line is further evidence of our commitment to the U.S. and local economy," said B.M. Ahn, group president and CEO of Kia Motors America (KMA) and KMMG. "The attention to detail and dedication to world-class quality shared by each KMMG 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."

Representing an investment of more than $1 billion, KMMG began producing the Sorento on November 16, 2009. In addition to the jobs created directly at the plant, on-site and nearby suppliers have created another 7,500 new positions in the region to support KMMG's annual capacity of 360,000 vehicles in 2012.

Kia Motors has undergone a dramatic, design-led transformation, which has been delivering dynamically styled vehicles in several important segments at exactly the right time, contributing to the brand's continued gains in U.S. market share. Led by the best-selling Sorento, KMA completed an historic first half of 2011 with back-to-back best-ever quarterly sales and year-to-date sales have increased more than 40 percent over 2010.

*from U.S. and globally-sourced part


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  • 29 Comments
      tenspeeder
      • 3 Years Ago
      Great news Kia! Now just replace a couple of those hideous wheel designs you are pushing and all will be right with the world.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tenspeeder
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      Greg
      • 3 Years Ago
      3,500 jobs lost in Michigan (factory, designers, accountants, etc.) and 3,000 factory workers gain down south and people will claim this is good for America. A simple look @ employment figures in the manufacture base of the US will realize that this isn't a net gain for the US.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Greg
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          Drew
          • 3 Years Ago
          I think you mean it's UAW's fault for driving manufacturing jobs out of America.
          whofan
          • 3 Years Ago
          Yea, like Europe doesn`t have strong labor unions.
          Balbir Prajha
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Drew - I am not from the US and I just cannot understand the hatred that you guys have for the unions in the US. Look around you - are the union workers getting all the fat paychecks or it is the CEOs and the bankers who are robbing you blind? ALL nations have unions - not just the US and unions are far stronger in Europe than in the US - heck, they even have unions for software developers in Europe! The rich in your country is robbing you blind - they have all the power and the common man has nothing.. and yet you all can only blame some poor sod who works in a union.
      Sukairain
      • 3 Years Ago
      Omg this car looks so good compare to other midsize sedans out there. So much so it'll make people either forget it's carrying a Kia badge. This car and the Hyundai Genesis really changed my perspective on Korean cars.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sukairain
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          Random Guy
          • 3 Years Ago
          a lots wrong with the kia badge....when a car company is having a "By one get one free car deals" it hurts the image of the brand...this car and the Forte are helping change the image...However, I've already seen 2 Optima's and 1 Forte withe the badges changed to K5. (which looks better)
      • 3 Years Ago
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        lineside128
        • 3 Years Ago
        Don't grow too fast, but hire 10,000 people??...If 3000 people are doing there job properly, then what do they need the other 7000 for? Why did I just waste my time responding to this?
        WillieD
        • 3 Years Ago
        Oh, so you run Kia now and you now how everything works there? Congrats.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @WillieD
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      whofan
      • 3 Years Ago
      I will say one thing, Kia consistantly has a nice looking design in their recent models. I am no fan of foreign cars but Kia looks good.
      mazeroni
      • 3 Years Ago
      Great news for for the 3,000 new employees and the optima.
      • 3 Years Ago
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        WillieD
        • 3 Years Ago
        They do have some good robots, watch the episode of Modern Marvels on Kia's website.
      • 3 Years Ago
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      DannyS
      • 3 Years Ago
      Brilliant car! agree on certain trims wheels design creepiness. KIA FTW!
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