Johnson Controls will open a new manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, to supply seating and interior products to Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG), beginning in summer 2009.

The new West Point plant, about 70 miles (110km) from Atlanta, is expected to employ around 310 people at full production.

The company is building a 130,000sq ft facility on 20 acres at the Northwest Harris Business Park in Harris County, Georgia.

When it launches production in autumn 2009, Johnson Controls will supply complete seat systems and door panels for a next-generation Kia SUV.

KMMG began construction of its US$1.2bn assembly and manufacturing plant in West Point in October 2006 to produce vehicles for the North American market. The plant is Kia’s first (parent Hyundai has one making the Sonata and Santa Fe in Alabama) and will begin production in late 2009 building to a 300,000-unit annual capacity.

“Johnson Controls is pleased to support Kia with quality seating and interior products as they launch production at a new site in Georgia,” said Beda Bolzenius, president of the ‘automotive experience’ business of Johnson Controls.

“We’re also proud to open a new facility and bring jobs to the West Point area. We are grateful for the support we have received from the local and state government officials in Georgia for their assistance on this project.”

This new plant further expands the supplier’s relationship globally with Kia. The company currently manufactures seat systems and interior components for the automaker in Europe and Asia.