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The one millionth Kia vehicle to come into the United States through the Port of Tacoma – a 2011 Optima Hybrid, still covered in protective wrap – rolled off a ship at the Port’s Blair Terminal on August 11.
“We congratulate Kia Motors on reaching this milestone at our Port,” said Connie Bacon, commission president, Port ofTacoma. “Over the years, the Kia business in Tacoma has meant thousands of longshore hours for our International Longshore Workers Union Local 23 workers who drive the vehicles off the ships, and hundreds of jobs at AWC and throughout our community. We look forward to continuing this long-standing relationship with Kia Motors.”
Since February 1995, Auto Warehousing Company (AWC) and its 200 employees have processed every Kia imported through the Port of Tacoma.
“This tremendous milestone demonstrates the strength of a long-standing partnership between Kia Motors America and the Port of Tacoma,” said Tom Loveless, vice president of sales, Kia Motors America (KMA). “Kia’s commitment to the U.S. market is reflected in our growth and long list of critically acclaimed products, including the all-new Optima Hybrid that is now arriving in dealer showrooms.”
KMA’s market share has grown each year since the company entered the U.S. in 1994, and last year the company eclipsed the 350,000 unit sales mark for the first time. Kia Motors has undergone a dramatic, design-led transformation, which has been delivering dynamically styled vehicles in several important segments at exactly the right time, contributing to the brand’s continued gains in U.S. market share.
The Optima Hybrid is Kia’s first-ever hybrid vehicle in the U.S. market and was introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show inNovember 2010. The 2011 Optima Hybrid uses a full parallel hybrid system and can be driven in zero emission, full-electric drive mode at speeds up to 62 miles an hour, or in a blended gas-electric mode at any speed.
When the Optima Hybrid comes to a stop and the electrical load is low, the engine shuts off to completely idle fuel consumption and emissions. The vehicle uses a lithium polymer battery, developed in South Korea by LG Chem.
About Kia Motors America (KMA)
Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 730 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the “Official Automotive Partner of the NBA.” In 2010, KMA recorded its best-ever U.S. sales and 16th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technologies.
Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle lineup is available at its website – www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.
About Glovis America, Inc.
Glovis America, Inc. is a major third-party logistics service provider specializing in processing and transportation of new vehicles. It provides third party logistics services for all imported and locally produced Kia vehicles in the United States. The company was founded in 2002 and is based in Costa Mesa, Calif. Glovis America, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Glovis Co. Ltd.
About Auto Warehousing Company (AWC)
Auto Warehousing is the largest vehicle processing companies in North America. The company handles more than 3 million vehicles a year, and has 20 locations throughout North America to meet the needs of their customers. In 1970, AWC expanded to Tacoma, and made it their location for their corporate offices.
About the Port of Tacoma
The Port of Tacoma is an economic engine for South Puget Sound, with more than 43,000 family-wage jobs in Pierce Countyand 113,000 jobs across Washington state connected to Port activities. A major gateway to Asia and Alaska, the Port ofTacoma is among the largest container ports in North America. The Port is also a major center for bulk, breakbulk and project/heavy-lift cargoes, as well as automobiles and trucks.