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Kia to build its first plant in the USA

22.03.2006

Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) today announced plans to construct a $1.2 billion automotive assembly and manufacturing plant in West Point, Troup County, Georgia at a ceremony attended by KMC President and CEO Euisun Chung and Gov. Sonny Perdue in Seoul. The facility will be Kia’s first manufacturing plant in the U.S and will begin production in 2009.

The manufacturing facility is expected to produce 300,000 vehicles per year at maximum capacity and will be built on 2,200 acres. The plant will employ approximately 2,500 local workers, while 5-6 suppliers are expected to set up operations in Troup County and the surrounding areas, thereby resulting in the creation of an additional 2,000 jobs.

“Kia Motors has entered an aggressive growth phase in the U.S and the decision by KMC to build a manufacturing facility in West Point, Troup County, Georgia is the latest example of the company’s commitment to the marketplace,” said Euisun Chung, President and CEO, Kia Motors Corporation. “Kia has made tremendous investments in design and engineering to better meet the needs and desires of American consumers, and this new plant will produce high quality, well-styled vehicles with the safety features and affordability that customers expect from Kia.”

Construction is currently underway on an $87 million U.S corporate campus in Irvine, Calif. that is expected to open in December 2006, and will include a 6,039 square-meter (65,000 square-foot) design center. In total, Kia Motors has invested more than $300 million in the United States over the last four years, including a state-of-the-art research and development center in Ann Arbor, Mich.; a custom-built vehicle proving grounds in Mojave, Calif.; and the largest automotive design studio in California, which is shared with Hyundai Motor America.

Since coming to market in the United States, Kia has expanded to a full product line of vehicles and enjoyed 12 years of consecutive sales records, including 275,871 vehicles in 2005. Most recently, Kia Motors America (KMA) posted record sales for the month of February 2006, and is 3.2-percent ahead of its record setting 2005 sales pace.

Kia expects its North American sales (US and Canada) to climb by 15% to 350,000 units in 2006, and further grow to 800,000 units by 2010.

Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com or www.kia.com) -- one of the fastest growing automakers in the world -- was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world’s premier automotive brands. Kia’s 12 manufacturing and assembly operations in 7 countries produce more than 1.1 million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 160 countries. Kia today has over 32,500 employees and annual revenues of almost $16 billion . It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an official worldwide sponsor of the Davis Cup. From 2007 to 2014, Kia will be an official automotive partner of FIFA -- the governing body of the FIFA World Cup. Kia Motors Corporation’s brand slogan -- “The Power to Surprise” -- represents the company’s global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.