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Kia Motors celebrates groundbreaking ceremony of U.S. operations in California


  • The new campus-style facility in Irvine, CA represents an investment of over $70 million
  • Plans for new $17 million design studio also announced

(SEOUL) July 25, 2005 – On Friday, July 22, Kia Motors America (KMA) held the groundbreaking ceremony of Kia’s new U.S. corporate campus in Irvine, California. Many local and state representatives, including Mayor Beth Krom, joined Peter M. Butterfield, president and CEO of Kia Motors America, for the momentous occasion.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Kia also announced plans to build a $17-million, 65,000 square-foot design studio as part of the “phase two” build-out of the property. The two-story, state-of-the-art building will share a similar design theme with the corporate campus but will have a distinct look. Separating the current Hyundai-Kia Motors Design and Technical Center will enable the two brands to produce distinctive designs that appeal to North American consumers.

The $70 million investment reaffirms Kia’s commitment to offer stylish, safe and affordable vehicles in the U.S. market.

Peter M. Butterfield, president and CEO of Kia Motors America, stated, “Ever since Kia launched in the U.S. back in 1994, our home has always been in Irvine so today truly is a special day as we’re now firmly planting ourselves in U.S. soil.” He went on to say, “Coming off of 11 consecutive years of sales records and recently moving up to the 5th top import brand proves how successful we’ve been in the U.S. market thus far and we expect this momentum to continue in the future.”

According to Yong-Hwan Kim, Senior Executive Vice President and COO of Kia Motors Corporation, “This $87 million investment clearly demonstrates Kia Motors is fully committed to the U.S. We are very optimistic that the new design studio will further strengthen our growing presence in the market, by enabling us to develop products specifically for Kia that are designed and tuned for North American consumers.”

The new corporate campus will house approximately 400 employees from various business units, including sales, marketing, consumer affairs, technical service, product planning and administration. Construction of the new 236,000 square-foot corporate campus is expected to be completed by December 2006.

Kia Motors Corporation ( ) -- the fastest growing automaker 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 16 manufacturing and assembly operations in 12 countries produce more than 1.1 million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 155 countries. Kia today has over 32,000 employees and annual revenues of $14 billion . It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an official worldwide sponsor of the Davis 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.