Kia Pickup a Possibility

Although neither Kia Motors Corp. nor its U.S. sales arm, Kia Motors America, is specifying which models will be built at the forthcoming West Point, GA, plant, one official says an oft-mentioned large pickup truck is a possibility. (It's) part of the discussion about what we're going to build and what we're going to look at as we move forward, Len Hunt, KMA chief operating officer, tells Ward's.

Although neither Kia Motors Corp. nor its U.S. sales arm, Kia Motors America, is specifying which models will be built at the forthcoming West Point, GA, plant, one official says an oft-mentioned large pickup truck is a possibility.

β€œ(It's) part of the discussion about what we're going to build and what we're going to look at as we move forward,” Len Hunt, KMA chief operating officer, tells Ward's.

Kia has wanted to get into the lucrative fullsize pickup truck segment in the U.S., which it could not do previously because of a large tax imposed on imported pickups by the U.S. government.

Hunt says a truck is among the many models being discussed for production at West Point, although he offers that Kia's best-selling U.S. models are the Spectra compact, Sedona minivan and Sportage SUV.

Kia's announcement that it will establish its first North American manufacturing facility in Georgia shows how serious the South Korean auto maker is about growing its U.S. volume, Hunt says.

β€œIt's all part of a strategy that's been in place for some time now,” he says.

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