Kia reaches a major milestone in the U.S. as it branches out from the domestic market and ships its first-ever export order for made-in-America vehicles to the Arabian Peninsula.
The 8-person Telluride SUVs were loaded for export onto a roll-on/roll-off vessel at Georgia’s Port of Brunswick.
Kia plans annual exports of about 3,000 Tellurides, which are assembled at West Point, GA.
“It’s the logical next step in our commitment to meeting U.S. and global demand,” Stuart Countess, Kia Georgia chief administrative officer and vice president, says in a statement.
Jimmy Allgood, Georgia Ports Authority board chairman, says the exports mean an expanded role for the authority, now handling the export of finished vehicles in addition to imported components.
“Through vertical integration – parts in via Savannah, autos out via Brunswick – Kia is taking advantage of Georgia’s extensive road and rail infrastructure, as well as its broader network of shipping line services,” he says.
The Telluride is Kia’s largest and most technologically advanced vehicle to date. Powered by a 291-hp 3.8L V-6, with available active on-demand all-wheel drive, it was initially designed with the U.S. market in mind at Kia’s design studio in California.