First Kia Telluride crosses Brunswick docks on Tuesday

Published 4:54 pm Tuesday, February 26, 2019

BRUNSWICK — Kia’s newest vehicle, The Telluride, was loaded for export Tuesday at the Port of Brunswick with a destination to ports around the Arabian Peninsula.

“The Telluride is a bold, capable new offering, and the largest Kia ever,” said Stuart Countess, chief administrative officer and vice president of Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) in a news release. “For KMMG, it’s the logical next step in our commitment to meeting U.S. and global demand.”

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has been vocal in praising the expansion of Kia models made in America.

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“The company’s decision to build the Telluride here in Georgia is a testament to the caliber of hardworking men and women at the company’s West Point, Georgia, plant,” Kemp said in a news release. “Having created more than 14,000 jobs for Georgians, Kia is an outstanding corporate citizen, and we commend them for their commitment to innovation, quality and growth.”

Georgia Ports Authority Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood said the GPA is playing an expanded role for KMMG, handling both imported components and now the export of finished vehicles.

“Through vertical integration — parts in via Savannah, autos out via Brunswick — Kia is taking advantage of Georgia’s extensive road and rail infrastructure, as well as its broader network of shipping line services,” Allgood said.

The Port of Savannah hosts 35 weekly container ship calls, while nine ocean carriers call on Colonel’s Island at the Port of Brunswick.

“For 10 years, we have been proud to support the thousands of jobs Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia provides in West Point, through efficient, reliable port services via Savannah,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch in a news release. “Today (Tuesday) marks an important development, as KMMG branches out from the domestic market in a major way to export vehicles made in America.”

Kia has announced plans to export about 3,000 Tellurides per year.

As Telluride shipments reach the Port of Brunswick, International Auto Processing will inspect the vehicles, wash and apply wrap guard, install tow hooks and adjust tire pressure, among other services. Ocean carrier Glovis will move the vessels overseas.