Alabama Courting Kia Plant

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Alabama is already home to three automobile assembly plants, now state officials are courting Kia as the Korean auto maker searches for a site for a new plant that will employ more than two-thousand people.

A story in this week's Automotive News said the city of Decatur is one of four sites under consideration for the factory.

Other sites reportedly include Chattanooga, Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and Aiken, South Carolina.

The company said it is considering options, and a key economic developer confirmed the state was after Kia.

Neal Wade, director of the Alabama Economic Development Office, told The Huntsville Times in a story published today that Governor Bob Riley is in constant contact with Kia officials.

Kia is owned by Hyundai, which has an assembly plant near Montgomery. Mercedez-Benz and Honda also build vehicles in Alabama,
and Toyota has an engine plant in Huntsville.

Alabama will produce about 760-thousand vehicles in 2006, and the industry employs about 50-thousand people in the state.