Kia, the second-largest carmaker in South Korea, announced its plans to invest $200 million in its US plant to manufacture the all-electric EV9 SUV starting next year. This move marks Kia’s first electric vehicle assembly in the United States, according to the company’s statement.
Currently, Kia’s Georgia plant produces four models: the K5 sedan, as well as the Telluride, Sorento, and Sportage SUVs, Yonhap news agency reported. The Telluride, exclusively available in North American markets, has been produced in Kia’s US plant since 2018 and has gained significant popularity in the country.
Kia’s President and CEO of North America and America, Sean Yoon, expressed his excitement about the upcoming EV9, stating, “Like the Telluride, the EV9 has the potential to be another game changer for Kia. 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.”
To accommodate the production of the EV9, Kia’s Georgia plant is currently undergoing transformations that will enable manufacturing in the second quarter of 2024.
Kia, a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor, aims to expand its electric vehicle lineup. The EV9 is the second model equipped with Hyundai Motor Group’s dedicated electric vehicle platform, called E-GMP, following the launch of the EV6 SUV in 2021.
The EV9, available in a two-wheel-drive variant, features a 99.8 kilowatt-hour battery and can travel up to 501 kilometers on a single charge. Additionally, an all-wheel-drive model is also available in Korea.
Kia has ambitious goals for its electric vehicle sales. The company aims to sell 1 million EVs by 2026 and intends to have a lineup of 15 electric models by 2027. In the third quarter, Kia plans to expand its EV lineup with the addition of the EV9 GT-line and performance EV9 GT models, catering to diverse customer demands.
For 2023, Kia has set a sales target of 3.2 million vehicles, surpassing the 2.9 million units sold in the previous year.
With eight plants in Korea and seven overseas locations, Kia’s total annual production capacity stands at 3.84 million units. The investment in the US plant highlights Kia’s commitment to electric vehicle manufacturing and its efforts to cater to the growing demand for sustainable transportation options.