Kia floats $1 billion bond, will invest more in Georgia

It was first announced in the local press by Lagrancenews.com

Local government officials are expected to sign off on an agreement for Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia to secure a $1.6 billion bond and in turn pay out millions to Troup County and the city of West Point and generate more tax revenue for the school system.

A memorandum of understanding spells out a plan for Kia Motors Manufacturing America to invest $1.6 billion over the next 16 years for expanding its model offerings, including additional tools, equipment and possible building expansions. Kia is asking the Troup County Development Authority to issue $1 billion in bonds and the West Point Development Authority to issue $600 million in bonds for the improvements, and would pay the county development authority $400,000 in compensation and West Point Development Authority up to $650,000.

In compensation for increased public safety and infrastructure improvements necessitated by Kia, the company is proposing to pay the city of West Point $6 million over 16 years and an additional $3 million to the county that will be earmarked for a career academy.

In return, the county and West Point agree to give all capital improvements made with the bonds a 100 percent tax abatement for the 16 year-period. The school board, similar to its current agreement, would give a 50 percent tax abatement for the first eight years and 25 percent abatement for the last eight years of the proposed agreement. The school system could reap $47.5 million in additional taxes from the agreement, if all the planned improvements are made.

Troup County, the Troup County Development Authority, Board of Education and city of West Point signed off on the memorandum today.

Followed today by a Press Release by Governor Nathan Deal:

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Kia Motors, one of the fastest-growing car companies in the United States, is investing in production efficiencies at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia in West Point. In response to continued growth and success in product sales, Kia will make major investments in additional machinery, equipment and production upgrades for the future.

“Kia has an exceptional track record of growth in our state,” said Deal. “The wave of economic impact created by Kia’s presence in Georgia goes far beyond the 10,000-plus jobs the company and its suppliers have created and will underpin the region’s economy for generations to come. Kia’s continued commitment to our state moves us closer to making Georgia the No. 1 state in the nation in which to do business.”

Kia’s partners in this investment project are the city of West Point, West Point Development Authority, Troup County Industrial Development Authority, Troup County, the Georgia Department of Economic Development and Georgia Quick Start. Georgia Department of Economic Development Project Manager E. Jane Caraway managed the project on behalf of the state.

“Investments by existing Georgia companies such as Kia represent about two-thirds of our projects every year, and that’s no accident,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Cummiskey. “We put a high premium on maintaining a healthy business environment in Georgia and on providing ongoing support and partnership to these companies in order to facilitate their successful growth.”

“We are delighted that Kia is taking this big step of commitment to Troup County and our citizens,” said chairman of the Troup County commission Ricky Wolfe. “I believe Kia has been a godsend to this community, this region and the state of Georgia. I am honored to work with the company as they continue to invest and grow in our area.”

The company is investing in machinery and processes to enhance the efficiencies of its production lines and equipment to satisfy demand for Kia’s high quality vehicles. Kia will continue to utilize the services of Georgia Quick Start, the nation’s top-ranked workforce development program, which operates the Kia Georgia Training Center.

“The City of West Point welcomes Kia’s announced investment, which will help Kia grow and continue its success and whose positive effects will be realized for many years,” said West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson. “Kia’s commitment to the citizens of our community is unprecedented and demonstrates an unwavering desire to see this community thrive. The strong cooperation between Kia, the state of Georgia, Troup County and the city of West Point is greatly appreciated.”

About Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc.
Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. is the first manufacturing site in North America for Kia Motors Corporation, which is based in Seoul, Korea. KMMG is located on 2,200 acres in West Point, and began mass production on Nov. 16, 2009. KMMG is home to the 2013 Sorento CUV and the 2013 Optima mid-size sedan, two of the brand’s top selling models. Beginning in 2012, the plant has the ability to build 360,000 vehicles annually from U.S. and globally-sourced parts.

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