WEST POINT, Ga. (September 21, 2009) — On Saturday morning, around 200 of the 400 team members from Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) in West Point going overseas for training this month arrived as early as 3 a.m. to depart for a week of intensive training and once-in-a-lifetime cultural experiences at Kia’s state-of-the-art research and development center more than 14,000 miles away in Namyang, Korea.
These team members departed on several different flights that left Atlanta at various times on Saturday. For a number of them, this was the first time they have left the country or flown on an airplane.
The remainder of the 400 team members are scheduled for a similar trip later this week. In all, by the end of September, almost 800 KMMG team members will have gone for training at various Kia plants across Korea.
Several KMMG executives were on hand early Saturday morning to greet and encourage the departing team members.
“This will truly be the experience of a lifetime for our team members both personally and professionally,” said Randy Jackson, KMMG’s Director of Human Resources and Administration. “KMMG will reap the benefits of our team members receiving extensive training from experts on the exact equipment they will be using here in West Point. This further proves our commitment to producing world class vehicles right here in Georgia. In addition to the professional aspect of the trip, team members will have an opportunity to participate in a variety of cultural activities while traveling abroad.”
Jackson noted that the training reports received from Korea after previous team member visits have been very positive.
“We are so encouraged that our team members are taking full advantage of this opportunity,” said Jackson. “The reports we are receiving show that the workforce at Kia’s first North American automobile manufacturing facility is top notch. In addition, our team members have returned home and enthusiastically endorsed the overseas training program.”
Along with training abroad, team members are receiving thorough training at the Kia Georgia Training Center and KMMG facility. Team members have continued to make outstanding progress in all aspects of training with production of the 2011 Kia Sorento set to begin this November. Currently, KMMG is in the LP2 Trial Phase and has more than 1,000 team members.
“Our training program promotes the importance of teamwork, continuous improvement and having a ‘can do’ mindset that make up the Kia Way,” said Jackson. “As our team members begin their travels, it is important that they always remember the value of this philosophy.”
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.