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Hankster

Kia May Build Bigger US Plant

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Kia Motors is considering building an even larger plant since sales are growing. The plant is now expected to employ 2,000 to 2,500 workers and have an annual capacity of 500,000 cars. Because of this, they are considering locating the plant in the larger Enterprise South Mega-Site rather than a site in Meridian, MS. They are rumored to be looking at several sites. The Chattanooga site is up to 3,000 acres, is directly adjacent to I-75 and is served by it's own interchange. It is also served by 2 railroads and is located in a large labor market. There are few sites, if any, is the US that are better suited for a large automobile assembly plant. We may not get this one, but I certain that we WILL get one very soon...maybe this coming year. Heres the article in Automotive News about Kia that came out today.

Kia May Build Bigger U.S. Plant

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The Enterprise South Mega-Site will definately IMO get an auto-plant sooner rather than later, there is just too much great infrastructure already and local assets for one not to come in and locate on that site, barring any type of unforseen obstacle.

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Kia's sales in the US are booming. From zero in 1990, they are now fast approaching 300,000 per year. There is probably no other company doing business in America that can show growth like that. In addition, Kia makes high mileage cars and that's someting that will sell well in the years ahead. The Koreans are extremely agressive, and they are very focused on what they do. They're driven like no people I ever seen. I should know. I worked in Korea from 1985 to 1988 on a joint venture project between TRW and Kia, believe it or not. We started up a power steering gear plant to supply Kia automotive for their very first car production. Yes, they didn't even start making cars until about 1987, and look where they are now. Believe me, you DO WANT THIS PLANT. If Chattanooga get's this plant, it would be an event equivalent to Smyrna getting Nissan.

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Kia's sales in the US are booming. From zero in 1990, they are now fast approaching 300,000 per year. There is probably no other company doing business in America that can show growth like that. In addition, Kia makes high mileage cars and that's someting that will sell well in the years ahead. The Koreans are extremely agressive, and they are very focused on what they do. They're driven like no people I ever seen. I should know. I worked in Korea from 1985 to 1988 on a joint venture project between TRW and Kia, believe it or not. We started up a power steering gear plant to supply Kia automotive for their very first car production. Yes, they didn't even start making cars until about 1987, and look where they are now. Believe me, you DO WANT THIS PLANT. If Chattanooga get's this plant, it would be an event equivalent to Smyrna getting Nissan.

Sounds like a plan... bring it on

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I want Chattanooga to get a car plant as soon as possible. Lets keep this forward momentum in luring the auto industry going. The more we get to locate here the more that will potentially follow. I want to see Tennessee become the car capitol of the South, heck the nation, if possible. :D As that fitness guy (is his name Little?) from the "Gazelle" exercise commercial says: WE CAN DO IT!!!

Think of the thousands of direct and indirect jobs a Kia plant would bring across the state of Tennessee, and in neighboring states. Man its such a great thought!!! :yahoo:

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I want Chattanooga to get a car plant as soon as possible. Lets keep this forward momentum in luring the auto industry going. The more we get to locate here the more that will potentially follow. I want to see Tennessee become the car capitol of the South, heck the nation, if possible. :D As that fitness guy (is his name Little?) from the "Gazelle" exercise commercial says: WE CAN DO IT!!!

Think of the thousands of direct and indirect jobs a Kia plant would bring across the state of Tennessee, and in neighboring states. Man its such a great thought!!! :yahoo:

I share your enthusiasm about the car industry in Tennessee. I really want to get this plant for Chattanooga, but I'm greedy. I want West Tennessee to get one too. That would be a terrific boost to that area.

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In this morning's AJC, there was a report that Kia is very interested in a site in West Point. Some consultant in Alabama said that the plant is Georgia's to lose.

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In this morning's AJC, there was a report that Kia is very interested in a site in West Point. Some consultant in Alabama said that the plant is Georgia's to lose.

I read about that as well in the Chattanooga newspaper. This is going to be a very highly competitive site selection process. The Koreans are notoriously hard bargainers and they will negotiate to the max and try to get as much as is humanly possible from the selected site in incentives and tax defferals, etc. I hear that they will have make their selection within a month or so. It's a huge prize and a lot is at stake.

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Where exactly is this West Point site?

It's in Troup County about five miles up I-85 from the Alabama border. One of their demands is for an exit where there isn't one right now.

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Maybe the AJC is just talking the smack with the comment about Kia being Georgias to loose. That site basically came out of nowhere as far as a "front runner"

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Bad news, the kia plant is prob going to georgia. I would have loved to see chattanooga evolve even further into its own city and this would have helped. :(

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Have some inside info or seem some news that indicate Georgia is going to get it?

Without an official announcement I'm not going to get worked up or let down on this Kia plant, esp., since not long ago Meridian, MS was the favored location.

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Have some inside info or seem some news that indicate Georgia is going to get it?

Without an official announcement I'm not going to get worked up or let down on this Kia plant, esp., since not long ago Meridian, MS was the favored location.

It said that in the tennessean, but I guess trusting the tennessean isn't very wise, considering it said that those miners from wv were alive when they were really dead.

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^ The Tennessean is not a bad source IMO for such news (I trust it at least), I just didn't know where the info was coming from, you just stated you heard it was going to Georgia which was not very specific as to where that info was coming from.

I went and found the article though:

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...3/1436/BUSINESS

It sounds to me that West Point is no more favored than Meridian may be at this point, in fact IMO it sounds like due to recent federal legislation to help Hurricane ravaged states Meridian could be favored again due to the state incentives, location to suppliers, and now reduced construction costs due to this new legislation. Nor is Chattnooga out of the game does it sound, it just may not be the flavor of the week anymore. Who knows, Kia sure doesn't seem to be letting on what they are thinking and there is alot of speculation going on as to what they might be thinking.

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It said that in the tennessean, but I guess trusting the tennessean isn't very wise, considering it said that those miners from wv were alive when they were really dead.

I usually never pass up an opportunity to criticize the Tennessean, but in this instance, I'll defend them on the WV miners story, since they got the same erroneous information all other news sources went to press with. Because they didn't learn the actual story until after the paper went to press, there wasn't time to correct it.

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One thing is pretty certain. A final announcement is not very far off concerning Kia. Based on all that I've heard I would expect the announcement within about a month, possibly less. Until that comes in, IMO it's anybody's guess who's going to get it. If Georgia wins, I still think that the Chattanooga site will get an assembly plant (rumored to be either Audi or BMW) within a relatively short time. It may well be the best site in America for an automotive assembly plant.

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Here's an article for sd-d.com website which states that the Kia plant site will be beteen the West Point site, Chattanooga, and possibly a site in Mississippi. The selection is likely to come in February because ground breaking cannot happen later than June 2006. The Georgia site has the advantage of location to suppliers, but if Tennessee has the will to offer up to $250 Million in incentives, they might land this one.

Kia Plant Article

Here's the complete article:

January 1, 2006

Kia Site Search Shifts to Georgia

By Mike Randle

Two years ago we predicted that Korean automaker Kia Motors would place its first U.S. assembly plant in Meridian, Miss. Our prediction looked dead-on this September when officials with Kia and its parent Hyundai publicly acknowledged that a site in Meridian was favored by the two companies. But in November of 2005, Kia officials apparently changed their minds, saying that they did not realize Meridian had a population of only 40,000. Kia officials then stated that the Meridian area might not be large enough to supply the labor force the automaker needs for what is expected to be a 2,000-employee plant.

Southern Business & Development has learned that there were other issues with the Meridian site. For one, Kia officials preferred another site on Interstate 20 in Pelahatchie, Miss. Pelahatchie is located near Jackson, where Nissan operates one of the Southern Auto Corridor's largest assembly plants. Mississippi officials were not willing to offer the Pelahatchie site to Kia because of its proximity to Nissan. Kia also asked for about $250 million in incentives from Mississippi. Mississippi officials agreed to $200 million, however, Kia would have had to put up the remaining $50 million that it would take to build on the Meridian site. Apparently Kia has decided against that option. As of January 6, last ditch efforts were being made by local officials in Columbus, Tunica and Tupelo to land the Kia project. Columbus, Miss. officials are selling the fact that Lowndes County, where Columbus is located, is the northernmost county in the new Gulf Opportunity Zone, created by President Bush in December. Called the GO Zone, the new legislation provides significant incentives to companies investing in areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama affected by the hurricanes of 2005.

In late December, Automotive News ran a story that claimed Decatur, Ala., Hopkinsville, Ky., Chattanooga, Tenn., and Aiken, S.C. were in the mix for Kia. We question all of those sites except for possibly Chattanooga. Alabama officials have worked with Mississippi officials for almost two years to land the project in Meridian. And for a short time they worked with Florida officials to try and lure Kia to Crestview, Fla. That being the case, why would they now work on landing the project anywhere in Alabama?

As for Hopkinsville and Aiken, they are located too far from Hyundai's and Kia's parts supplier base, 95 percent of which is located in central and south Alabama. Chattanooga, on the other hand, is a site preferred by Kia officials; however, we strongly question whether Tennessee is willing to pony up $250 million for the automaker. Nissan has a much larger presence in Tennessee than it has in Mississippi. In fact, Nissan is relocating its North American headquarters from the Los Angeles area to Nashville this year.

About three weeks ago (mid-December) we got word that Kia officials contacted Georgia officials about an available site just across the Alabama border in West Point, Ga., near LaGrange. We have been in contact with Georgia officials over the last year concerning the possibility of landing the Kia plant. In the past 18 months, we have also been in contact with local officials in West Georgia concerning the project. As far as we can tell, there has been no contact between state or local officials in Georgia and Kia until around mid-December.

The West Point, Ga., location is one that makes perfect logistical sense for Kia. As mentioned, almost all of the Korean parts suppliers (currently about 35) that are servicing Hyundai's assembly plant in Montgomery, Ala. and that will serve a potential Kia plant are located in central and south Alabama. However, most of those suppliers are located in east central and southeast Alabama with Korea's largest, Mando, located in Opelika, Ala. Opelika is about 20 miles from West Point, Ga.

As of this writing (Jan. 6, 2006), it looks as if Kia's site search is coming down to the wire and three sites, if not just two, are still in the running. Those are: West Point, Ga., Chattanooga and possibly one of the sites in Mississippi such as Columbus, Tupelo or Tunica. Of course, there is the remote possibility that Kia simply abandons its search and builds next to Hyundai

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Kia also might be a bit scared of the problems that Nissan has had in MS. The company has had a heckuva time trying to get their "startup" issues affecting product quality resolved. Much of it has to do with the inadequate public education system in the area.

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I found out some more news about Kia that makes the prospects of not landing the Kia plant even more distressing. Kia, an affiliate of Hyundai, saw its February 2006 sales climb 44 percent to 115,774 cars, led by a 49 percent increase in exports. The company is really on a roll. Whoever lands this plant is landing an absolute goldmine!

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^^ Yeah some speculative articles can be way off, so I am not too worried. Either way the Chattanooga IMO is well on its way to landing a major tenant, probably auto assembly, sooner rather than later.

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Having worked in Korea in the past, I have a little idea how Korean businessmen work. I suspect they may have already decided where they want to put their plant. However, they may be playing up another site (hopefully that's the one in Georgia) trying to secertly negiotiate an even better deal with the site they want (hopefully that's Enterprise South). I wouldn't surprise me at all that they would try something sneaky like that. That's the way they operate. They're absolutely ruthless negotiators. In the meantime, all we can do is hope until the final decision is announced.

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We need something like this in northeast Tennessee. Just not enough good paying jobs here. I have heard a lot of locals claim that they (the local city leaders of the metro area) want this part of the state to become a retirement area, but who knows? There are some factories here that pay good, but some are shutting down. -_-

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