Kia Corporation has firmed up plans to build its EV9 battery powered SUV at its existing plant in West Point, Georgia, in the second quarter of 2024.

It will be the automaker’s first EV produced in the country.

Kia said it was spending US$200m to expand the plant to accommodate the new model which will be produced alongside the Telluride, Sorento and Sportage SUVs and the K5 mid-size sedan, creating 200 new jobs.

Kia has spent US$1.9bn so far on the West Point plant which employs 14,000 people.

Sean Yoon, president & CEO of Kia America, said in a statement: “The EV9 has the potential to be another ‘game changer’ for Kia. It will be the most sophisticated vehicle that we have ever built and will be a standout in the EV market.”

The company began US deliveries of the EV9 in June, imported from South Korea.

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By GlobalData

The vehicle, based on Hyundai Motor Group’s (HMG) E-GMP EV platform, has a range of 500km (300 miles) on a single charge. It is expected to qualify for tax incentives under the US Inflation Reduction Act.

HMG is also investing in a new dedicated EV factory in Georgia which will have capacity for 300,000 Hyundai, Genesis and Kia vehicles per year, with completion scheduled for 2025.

Earlier this year Hyundai began building a battery-powered version of its Genesis GV70 SUV model at its plant in Montgomery, Alabama.