Kia to ramp up production of popular Optima in U.S.

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Kia to ramp up production of popular Optima in U.S.

Kia Motors plans to expand its production capacity of the popular Optima sedan this year in the U.S. to meet growing demand for the midsize vehicle, according a company executive.

Kia will use most of the expanded capacity of its assembly line in the state of Georgia to produce more Optimas in the United States, said Tom Loveless, Kia Motors America’s vice president of sales, in an interview with U.S. magazine Automotive News.

The company’s Georgia plant, which assembles the Optima and the Sorento, added 60,000 units of capacity last year. The two models took up 44 percent of the carmaker’s U.S. sales in 2011.

Loveless said he expects the Optima to be Kia’s best-selling car in the U.S. this year. The Sorento has been the top seller for the past two years.

Kia sold 84,590 Optimas in the U.S. last year, nearly tripling its sales volume from 2010, but it had trouble meeting new orders as consumer demand outpaced supply.

Loveless said that if Kia fails to keep up with demand for the Optima this year, the company will consider importing the model from Korea. Yonhap
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