Kia Announcement Expected Soon

Several newspapers and trade magazines across the country are reporting that Kia has made a decision to build its 2200-worker plant in southwest Georgia; Troupe County, to be exact.

That area is within 100 miles of the Montgomery Hyundai plant. Hyundai is Kia's parent company, and the two plants would share supplier plants.

The news is a blow to the Meridian area and its Kewanee megasite, considered the early favorite to get the plant, also because of its proximity to Montgomery.

But Kia officials apparently backed off over concerns of the available workforce in this area and whether or not there would be enough workers to supply the plant.

The Kia decision is also a blow to another area of Mississippi. Lowndes County recently came up with a $1 billion incentive package to try to lure the Korean automaker.

Kia officials will only say they are very close to an announcement, but won't give any details as to where the plant might be located. Reports say a decision could come in the next several days.

Mississippi Senator Trent Lott said Thursday that he has sent a letter to Kia's chairman of the board, expressing dissatisfaction with the way the whole matter has been handled.

"You know, we want free and fair trade. We want business and industry to locate in America," said Lott. "But I've lost a lot of faith in this company, but if we can't get this company, there'll hopefully be another one and we'll continue to pursue them."

Lott said he thinks it would be a huge advantage for any company to focus on Mississippi, especially with the "go-zone" legislation that makes it more attractive than ever.

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