Kia dealers from across the nation converged on the automaker's construction site today in nearby West Point, Ga., checking out the massive project's progress while taking in a few seminars.
The conference marked another milestone — becoming the first corporate event held at the South Korea-based company's training center. The facility opened in late March and will be a training hub for nearly 3,000 people expected to be hired by Kia to operate the 2.4-million-square-foot mother factory.
"We want them to experience the quality of our new training center and understand how it reflects the highest standards of quality that will be put into the vehicles manufactured here in Georgia," Randy Jackson, human resources director for Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Inc., said of the gathering.
The $1.2 billion auto complex is being constructed on more than 2,000 acres of land off Interstate 85 on the east side of West Point, not far from the Alabama border. The plant is expected to be completed by late 2009.
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The three-day Kia conference, which wraps up Thursday, is sizeable, with staff from 212 dealerships and 47 states on hand. About 40 of the dealers are located in Georgia and eight in Alabama.
For more on the Kia project and its sales in the U.S., see Wednesday's Ledger-Enquirer.