BRUNSWICK, Ga., Feb. 26, 2019 - The first of Kia's new Telluride vehicles were loaded for export onto the Roll-on/Roll-off vessel Sirius today at the Port of Brunswick. The 8-person SUVs are destined for ports around the Arabian Peninsula.
"The Telluride is a bold, capable new offering, and the largest Kia ever," said Stuart Countess, chief administrative officer and vice president of Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG). "For KMMG, it's the logical next step in our commitment to meeting U.S. and global demand."
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp applauded the expansion of Kia models made in America.
"The company's decision to build the Telluride here in Georgia is a testament to the caliber of hardworking men and women at the company's West Point, Georgia, plant," Kemp said. "Having created more than 14,000 jobs for Georgians, Kia is an outstanding corporate citizen, and we commend them for their commitment to innovation, quality, and growth."
Georgia Ports Authority Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood said the GPA is playing an expanded role for KMMG, handling both imported components and now the export of finished vehicles. "Through vertical integration - parts in via Savannah, autos out via Brunswick - Kia is taking advantage of Georgia's extensive road and rail infrastructure, as well as its broader network of shipping line services," Allgood said.
The Port of Savannah hosts 35 weekly container ship calls, while nine ocean carriers call on Colonel's Island at the Port of Brunswick.
"For 10 years, we have been proud to support the thousands of jobs Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia provides in West Point, through efficient, reliable port services via Savannah," said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch. "Today marks an important development, as KMMG branches out from the domestic market in a major way to export vehicles made in America."
The automaker plans to export approximately 3,000 Tellurides per year.
"Through continuous investment and expansion of infrastructure at the 1,700-acre facility, Brunswick is prepared to take on new business from Kia and other manufacturers," said GPA Chief Administrative Officer Jamie McCurry. "As the single largest and second busiest U.S. hub for automotive trade, the Port of Brunswick moved more than 600,000 units last year."
The Telluride is Kia's largest and most technologically advanced vehicle to date. Initially designed with the U.S. market in mind at Kia's design studio in California, the Telluride travels down the same manufacturing line as the award-winning Sorento, the highest-ranked Midsize SUV in the most recent J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.
Powered by a 291-hp 3.8-liter V6, with available active on-demand all-wheel drive, the Telluride is rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds.
As Telluride shipments reach the Port of Brunswick, International Auto Processing will inspect the vehicles, wash and apply wrap guard, install tow hooks and adjust tire pressure, among other services. Ocean carrier Glovis will move the vessels overseas.