Kia Motors’ first plant in the US – Kia Motor Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) – has officially started production, with inbound and outbound logistics support from the US-based branch of its Hyundai-Kia subsidiary Glovis.
Following roll out of the first vehicle in October, the $1 billion-plant went into full production of its Sorento model on Monday and will begin distribution to the US market in January. It will also be the sole supplier of Sorentos to the Canadian market in 2010. The facility has an annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles.
In terms of inbound movements, Glovis will provide consolidation centre operations including local parts collection and just-in-time/just-in-sequence delivery to the assembly line as well as supply of CKD kits from overseas. Approximately 50% of parts are sourced from domestic providers with the remainder imported from Korea.
Glovis America, the finished vehicle handling part of the business, will be handling the movement of the Sorento via road and rail to Kia’s dealerships throughout the US and Canada. Approximately 80% of the vehicles will be distributed by rail. The company can carry 750 vehicles per rail transportation with full cargo tracking.
In terms of in-plant logistics, KMMG’s general assembly area has been fitted with more than 0.8 km of height-adjustable conveyors that facilitate worker-friendly installation of parts at lineside.
Among the 30 suppliers located on site are transmission provider PowerTech and chassis supplier Mobis. “PowerTech and Mobis are connected to our General Assembly building through an elevated conveyor system that runs throughout the plant and also brings our car bodies from the paint shop into assembly from the oppostie end of the building,” said KMMG spokeswoman Joanne Mabrey.
Kia’s other suppliers are located in close proximity in Georgia and Alabama according to the company. “We do share many of those suppliers with our sister Hyundai plant in Montgomery, so many of them are located along the interstate that connects us,” said Mabrey.
Since entering the US market, Kia Motors, through its US-based marketing and distribution arm, KMA, has expanded to a full product line of vehicles. The company reported a 50% increase in market share through October.