We’ll bet you don’t even know about this one. Quietly, much more so than its corporate parent Hyundai, Kia has been making deep inroads into the United States market. Those who follow it know that Kia is a producer of affordable, high-content vehicles sourced in its native South Korea. But how many of us know not only that Kia operates a vibrant U.S. assembly plant, but that it also cranked out its 3 millionth vehicle just last week after only about a decade of existence?
It happened in West Point, Georgia, where Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Inc. operates a sprawling final-assembly facility that builds the Sorento SUV, the Optima sedan and the new Telluride premium SUV. It was the latter model that achieved Kia’s production milestone, as a white 2020 Telluride SX Prestige rolled off the line and headed for Kia’s dealership network. Kia sank more than $1.1 billion into the plant, which produced its first vehicle in November 2009. That means it took Kia less than 10 years to reach the 3 million mark, a remarkable record of success. The Telluride has been finding buyers in a hurry, so by no means will the be the last one rolling out of Georgia.