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Equipment for Kia’s $1,2billion assembly plant arrives to USA
Last week, a special ship from South Korea, carrying 3,500 tons of automobile-making equipment, approached the Savannah port. The equipment, loaded on the ship, was destined for Kia’s $1,2 billion manufacturing plant, which is under construction in West Point Georgia, USA.
Over the next few weeks, all of the equipment will be transported from Savannah to Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Inc.’s facility, located 300 miles away from the port. Some of the equipment will be transported on a fleet of trucks that includes a dual-lane trailers, while other, larger pieces, weighing up to 125 tons will be trucked by a specialized 19-axle transporters, designed to carry the largest cargo pieces.
After traveling 300 ground miles to reach the manufacturing facility, the equipment will be assembled into two massive presses that will make panels for the next generation Sorento CUV, which production is scheduled to start in the last quarter of 2009.
The first press, called “blanking press” will be used to mold the steel into “blanks” with the pressure of 600 tons, while the second one, the “transfer press”, will be used to stamp the steel with a force of 5,000 tons, molding it into different panel types to create the hood, doors and fenders.
The arrival of these presses to the state of Georgia marks another huge step for Kia as it gets closer to going into production in West Point. Kia’s first US plant is scheduled to begin production in the last quarter of 2009. When operating at full capacity, the plant will have the ability to produce 300,000 vehicles each year and employ approximately 2,500 people. [Source: Globalatlanta via Kia Forums]