KIA to invest more than $200M, hire nearly 200 as it starts assembling EV9

Published 12:35 pm Wednesday, July 12, 2023

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Governor Brian P. Kemp Wednesday announced that Kia will invest more than $200 million and create nearly 200 new jobs at its West Point plant to accommodate assembly of the company’s highly anticipated all-electric 2024 EV9 three-row SUV. Through this production line transformation, the EV9 will become the fifth model to be assembled at Kia Georgia, joining the Telluride, Sorento and Sportage SUVs, and the K5 mid-size sedan. EV9 assembly is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2024, according to the press release.

“Georgia’s longstanding partnership with Kia has led to generational job creation and growth for the West Point area,” Kemp said. “As a national leader in the automotive industry, I am proud of Kia’s continued impact on the Peach State. As we noted earlier this year, this project will both bring more opportunity to hardworking Georgians and help propel the state toward our goal of becoming the e-mobility capital.”

Currently, more than 40 percent of Kia vehicles sold in the U.S. are manufactured in West Point. The addition of the EV9 to the lineup will further increase the facility’s output. As the brand’s first three-row EV SUV and the first Kia EV to be assembled in North America, the EV9 is the flagship vehicle for the company’s global Plan S strategy focused on sustainable mobility leadership.

“Like Telluride, EV9 has the potential to be another change catalyst for Kia,” said Sean Yoon, President & CEO, Kia Motors North America and Kia Motors America. “This will be the most innovative vehicle that we have ever built and will be a standout in the EV market and on the road. Best of all, it will be assembled in West Point, Georgia.”

Kia Georgia, which is a certified Georgia Made manufacturer, will continue to utilize the services of Georgia Quick Start, the nation’s top-ranked workforce development program, which operates the Kia Georgia Training Center. Quick Start’s comprehensive, customized training services will prepare new employees with the skills required to perform successfully on the new assembly line.

“The Kia Georgia team looks forward to continuing its tradition of being the best of the best as our plant begins production of its first EV,” said Stuart Countess, President & CEO, Kia Georgia. “The partnerships we have developed statewide with the Governor’s Office, the Department of Economic Development, and Georgia QuickStart have been tremendous, as have the local partnerships with the City of West Point and Troup County. I can’t say enough about the support Kia Georgia continues to receive from our state and local community.”

“For seventeen years Kia has been an outstanding corporate citizen and community partner, and we look forward to a strong future together. By providing employment opportunities and fostering economic growth, Kia has helped to improve the livelihoods of many people in West Point,” said City of West Point Mayor Steve Tramell. “We’re thankful to Stuart Countess, as well as for the hard work of all Kia Georgia’s team members and its many suppliers.”

Senior Regional Project Manager Amanda Fields represented the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) Global Commerce team on this competitive project in partnership with the West Point Development Authority, the City of West Point, Troup County, Georgia Center of Innovation’s Manufacturing and Energy teams, and Georgia Quick Start.

“Since Georgia recruited Kia in 2006 to create long-lasting opportunities for West Georgia, Kia has exceeded expectations as a partner by giving back to its adopted community,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “With EV9 now joining Georgia’s growing electrified lineup, we want to thank and congratulate Kia, our partners in West Point, and countless other state and local agencies working with us to meet the needs of today and tomorrow’s leading industries in ways only Georgia can.”

To date, Kia has invested more than $1.9 billion in the state and Kia Georgia is responsible for more than 14,000 plant and supplier jobs in the region. Earlier this year, Governor Kemp and state lawmakers recognized January 31 as “Kia Day,” commending Kia’s vehicle manufacturing and its impact to the state since making one of the biggest single foreign investments in Georgia’s history with the 2006 announcement that a state-of-the-art vehicle assembly facility would be established in West Point.

From Georgia, Kia ships vehicles to sales markets around the globe, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Middle East and Pacific nations.

As the emerging electric vehicle market continues to grow, Georgia has pursued job creation along the entire supply chain, resulting in more than $22.7 billion in investment and the creation of over 28,400 jobs since 2020.