NAMYANG, Korea, (August 21, 2009) — Team member training at Kia’s state-of-the-art research and development center in Namyang, Korea is going very well according to officials at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG).
Team members continue to develop the skills that they will be using when Kia’s first North American automobile manufacturing plant in West Point, Ga. begins production later this year.
“The reports we are receiving from Korea are very positive,” said Randy Jackson, KMMG’s director of human resources and administration. “We are very encouraged that our team members are taking full advantage of the opportunity to learn from experts on the same equipment they will be using at KMMG,”
In total, about 120 KMMG team members will have traveled to Korea for two weeks of training this month. The first two waves left on Aug. 3 and Aug. 17. The final wave of team members left on Monday. Overall, more than 350 KMMG team members have traveled to Korea for training abroad.
While in Namyang, team members are receiving firsthand experience working on an assembly line producing the next generation of the Kia Sorento. The work each team member is doing now is identical to what they will be doing in Georgia.
“The training has been such a good learning experience,” said Angela Smith, a team member in KMMG’s General Assembly Shop who is currently in Korea. “Without this opportunity, I would have never had the chance for this level of hands-on training and experience.”
James Yates, another team member from KMMG’s General Assembly Shop currently in Korea, agreed with Smith about the experience.
“The training has been very professional and thorough,” said Yates. “This has been a good experience and we are all learning a lot.”
Jackson noted that this is an opportunity of a lifetime for the team members both professionally and personally and that he is pleased to hear such positive reports back from the team members themselves.
“This training, in addition to the training each team member receives at the Kia Georgia Training Center and inside the KMMG facility, will pay huge dividends for this company,” said Jackson. “It is great to see the level of commitment our team members have toward producing a world class vehicle here in West Point.”
Namyang R&D Center is a cutting-edge facility that encompasses the whole design process, from pre-design studies, prototyping and full-scale aerodynamic testing to crash testing along the extensive on-site test track.
Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) is the first manufacturing site in North America for Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, Korea. KMMG is located on 2,200 acres in West Point, Georgia, and is scheduled to begin production in the last quarter of 2009. At full capacity, the plant will have the ability to produce 300,000 vehicles annually and employ approximately 2,500 team members.