Kia invests in US factory for EV9 production
Kia is investing more than $200 million in its West Point plant in the state of Georgia to expand it for the production of the all-electric EV9. The West Point plant is currently being rebuilt to enable the assembly of the EV9 from the second quarter of 2024.
Kia now says this expansion will cost more than $200 million (currently €179.5 million) and create nearly 200 additional jobs. As part of the North American premiere of the EV9, Kia had already confirmed in April that the large electric SUV will not only roll off the production line in South Korea, but also in the USA from 2024. The EV9 will be Kia’s first electric model to be assembled in North America.
For a while, it was rumoured that the Kia EV9 could be built at the new Hyundai factory. Hyundai Motor Group (of which Kia is famously a part) had begun construction of Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America (HMGMA), often just called Metaplant, in October 2022 to build up to 300,000 electric cars per year starting in the first half of 2025 – not only for the Hyundai brand, but also for Kia and Genesis. As the first Hyundai model from the plant is rumoured to be the large electric SUV Ioniq 7, it seemed possible to build the Kia counterpart to the Ioniq 7 in the same plant. It is not yet known which Kia model series will roll off the production line at Metaplant instead in the future. However, the EV9 will come from Kia’s existing West Point plant.
The EV9 will be built there as the first model of the 800-volt E-GMP platform. The combustion models Telluride, Sorento and Sportage (all SUVs) as well as the mid-size sedan K5 are also produced in West Point. The EV9 is thus Kia’s fifth model from Georgia, but the first all-electric.
“Like Telluride, EV9 has the potential to be another ‘game changer’ for Kia,” said Sean Yoon, president and CEO of Kia North America and Kia America. “This will be the most sophisticated vehicle that we have ever built and will be a standout in the EV market and on the road. Best of all, it will be assembled in West Point, Georgia.”
Kia does operate its US plant in Georgia and, as mentioned, will also build cars at the Hyundai ‘metaplant’ in Georgia. However, Kia America is headquartered in Irvine, California. The manufacturer says it has a network of over 750 dealers.