- Kia plans to invest over $200 million to expand its West Point, Georgia, manufacturing facility, Gov. Brian Kemp announced last week.
- The expansion will ready Kia’s plant to produce its new electric SUV model beginning in Q2 of next year, according to the automaker.
- The EV9 model will be Kia’s fifth vehicle assembled at the West Point plant, which manufactures more than 40% of the company’s vehicles sold in the U.S. It will also be Kia’s first EV manufactured in North America.
Kia expects the EV9 to be a “game changer” for the company, Kia North America and Kia America President and CEO Sean Yoon said in a statement.
“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,” Yoon said.
The EV9 and West Point expansion are part of Kia’s Plan S strategy, which focuses on sustainable mobility and accelerating the automaker’s goal to sell 1.2 million battery EVs in 2030.
Kia plans to achieve this by launching at least two battery EVs a year, beginning in 2023. The company hopes to have a lineup of 14 battery EVs by 2027, including two electric pickup trucks and an entry-level battery EV model.
“To achieve the company’s vision of becoming a Sustainable Mobility Solutions Provider, we will focus on accelerating the transition to future business models,” Kia President and CEO Ho Sung Song said in a statement last year. “We will become even more customer-centric in our approach and pursue a dynamic transformation while maintaining sound business operations.”
Kia operates two other manufacturing plants globally, one in Seoul, South Korea, and another in Žilina, Slovakia.
The company is not the only automaker accelerating its EV production in Georgia. Hyundai Motor Group and battery maker SK On are building a $5 billion EV battery manufacturing facility in Bartow County, Georgia. The upcoming plant will manufacture battery cells supporting the production of 300,000 all-electric Hyundai, Kia and Genesis vehicles yearly by the second half of 2025.