Yet another Korean automotive supplier is setting up shop in West Point, Ga., near the Kia auto assembly plant north of Columbus.
The company, called KOPLA, will invest $15 million into its first U.S. plant and employ 150 people by 2018, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal's office said Tuesday.
Sangyong Han, KOPLA's president and chief executive, said via a statement that West Point is the place to be.
"It is a perfect location, and the state and community support has been exemplary," he said. "We look forward to becoming a part of this thriving industrial community in Georgia."
The manufacturer will build its 100,000-square-foot plant on 20 acres in Northwest Harris Business Park, which lies in Harris County, but is in the city limits of West Point, a Troup County community.
The company will supply "engineering plastics resin" to several U.S. automakers, Deal's office said.
Georgia's Quick Start training program will be used to get employees up to speed on the manufacturing process, while the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce is expected to help with hiring.
West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson and Harris County Commission Chairman both issued a warm welcome to KOPLA, which joins a growing cluster of suppliers near the Kia plant located on 2,259 acres off Interstate 85, not far from the Georgia-Alabama border.
Kia makes the Sorento crossover utility vehicle and the Optima sedan at its plant, as well as the Hyundai Santa Fe sport utility vehicle.
Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, which has more than 3,000 on its own payroll, estimates there are now 11,000 auto supplier jobs near its own mammoth plant. The assembly plant opened in November 2009.
Deal on Tuesday pointed to that growth with pride.
"Our booming automotive industry and key business resources create a perfect location for KOPLA and we have no doubt that this state-of-the-art automotive manufacturer will continue to succeed," he said.