Kia Georgia announces new CEO

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, December 22, 2021

WEST POINT – Kia Georgia, Inc. recently announced the retirement of its president and CEO, Jangsoo (Jason) Shin, effective Dec. 31, 2021. Shin has led the Georgia facility since 2017, overseeing the inaugural launches of the brand’s Telluride and K5 models as well as the latest generation of its first model, the Sorento. Under his leadership, all of the plant’s products have earned multiple industry awards including the coveted North American Utility Vehicle of the Year.

“It has been the greatest of pleasures in my career to lead this outstanding and talented Kia Georgia Team,” Shin said. “I am extremely proud of their accomplishments and the Kia Georgia success story.”

Kia Georgia also announced that CEO Stuart Countess has been named President and CEO effective Jan. 1, 2022. Countess joined the company in 2008 as the senior manager of assembly and has witnessed the operation’s development from ground-breaking to a world-class automotive manufacturing complex. He has held positions in manufacturing and quality as well as human resources and administration, serving as CEO prior to his current position.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Kia Georgia’s world-class team in my new capacity,” Countess said. “Kia is looking to the future with great confidence in our contribution to the automotive industry, and Kia Georgia intends to be an integral part of our North American strategy.”

Sean Yoon, president and CEO of Kia North America noted, “Stuart’s assignment to the plant’s top position further strengthens Kia’s U.S. manufacturing presence and demonstrates confidence in the leadership of its facility in Georgia.”

Kia recently announced the addition of the Sportage to the Georgia plant, increasing its product mix to four models and maximizing production capacity.

Kia Georgia, Inc. is the first manufacturing site in North America for the Kia Corporation based in Seoul, Korea. With an annual capacity of 340,000 units, Kia Georgia is located on 2,200 acres in West Point and began mass production on Nov. 16, 2009. Kia Georgia is home to the Telluride SUV, Sorento SUV and the K5 mid-size sedan.