Kia is investing $200m into an expansion of its Georgia West Point plant to accommodate the assembly of its new EV9 SUV in the second quarter of 2024.
The model will be Kia’s first EV to be assembled in North America.
The expansion to produce the fifth vehicle assembled at the plant will create almost 200 additional jobs in the Troup County, according to the OEM. Currently, the plant assembles the Telluride, Sorento and Sportage SUVs as well as the K5 mid-size sedan.
“Like Telluride, EV9 has the potential to be another game changer for Kia,” said Sean Yoon, president and CEO, Kia North America and Kia America. “This will be the most sophisticated vehicle that we have ever built and will be a standout in the EV market and on the road.”
Earlier in the year, Kia’s sister plant, the Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Alabama, added EV production to produce the first Genesis model made in the US. The South Korean carmaker invested $300m to bring about the production the Genesis Electrified GV70 SUV in the Montgomery plant, resulting in the creation of 200 jobs.
Hyundai and LG Energy Solution officially announced a plan to establish a 50/50 EV battery joint venture in Savannah, Georgia last month, signing a memorandum of understanding to build a 30GWh battery factory worth more than $4.3 billion.
The carmaker also announced in April that is plans to invest $5 billion, along with SK On, to build a new EV battery cell plant in Georgia, with production slated to start in the second half of 2025. SK On has been a strategic partner for the group in its work on the Genesis GV60 and other models. The 50/50 joint venture will support the group’s electrification efforts and provide a stable supply of batteries for EV production in the US, according to Hyundai. The plant, which is set to be based in Bartow County, Georgia, is close to Hyundai’s US production facilities including the Kia Georgia plant, the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing plant in Alabama, and Hyundai’s Motor Group Metaplant America.