Dave Williams, Capitol Beat
ATLANTA – Georgia’s political leaders celebrated Kia Day at the state Capitol Tuesday, touting past successes at Kia’s plant in West Point even as the Korean automaker prepares to start producing EV6 electric vehicles.
The West Point Kia plant, which opened in 2009, is turning out more than 1,400 cars per day, Stuart Countess, president and CEO of Kia Georgia, said during an outdoor ceremony at Liberty Plaza across from the Capitol. The company expects to pass the 4 million mark sometime in April, he said.
The plant boasts a workforce of more than 3,000 employees and more than 14,000 when counting the various suppliers that serve the plant.
“What an incredible story,” said Gov. Brian Kemp, who followed Countess to the podium. “Kia has not only been a good partner for our state but has been incredibly successful here.”
Kia’s success story helped convince Korean affiliate automaker Hyundai to commit $5.5 billion last year to building an electric vehicle manufacturing plant in Black Creek expected to create 8,100 jobs when fully built out, making it the largest economic development project in Georgia history.