Kia Motors Corp. likely will add a second model at its West Point, GA, plant one year after production of the Sorento SUV begins, a Kia America official says.
Senior executives in South Korea still are “hedging” on what the second model will be, but the facility's assembly line is being built with enough flexibility that management can wait to make a decision, spokesman Alex Fedorak tells Ward's.
“In light of current market conditions, they are reevaluating what that second (model) is going to be,” he says.
Kim Dong-jin, vice chairman and CEO of Kia sibling Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd., told Ward's last May a small car would be the second vehicle added at West Point, Kia's first U.S. vehicle assembly site.
Fedorak declines to comment on that scenario, but Tom Loveless, vice president-sales for KMA, says he'd like to see the Optima midsize sedan or Spectra compact car produced there.
The importance of the car to Kia's lineup, given its position in the largest vehicle segment in the U.S., makes it ideal for West Point, Loveless says.
The next-generation compact Spectra goes on sale this year in the U.S., and Loveless says Kia is counting on it to be a game-changer for the brand.
The new Spectra “will have all the styling appeal of the segment leaders,” he says. “It'll have a 32-mpg (7.4-L/100 km) fuel economy; it will be priced very competitively compared to segment leaders; (and have) the best warranty in the segment.