Kia plant suspends operations for the second time this year

Kia plant suspending operations because of supply chain issues

TROUP COUNTY, Ga. — The Kia Plant in Troup County has suspended its operations once again – this time because of supply chain issues.

Kia initially shut down mid-March because of coronavirus and just reopened at about 33% capacity three weeks ago.

But just as they thought they could ramp up production, they’re faced with another problem. The coronavirus is affecting their supply chain and it’s bad enough that Kia executives decided to shut the plant down again this week.

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“We continue to monitor our supply chain and what it’s capable of supporting. Obviously, we want to get back to full production as soon as possible,” spokesman Rick Douglas told Channel 2’s Richard Elliot.

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Now, with thousands of employees not going to work, it’s not only impacting their lives, but the economy around the plant as well.

Linda Newton owns Newt’s Fried Chicken right around the corner form the Kia plant. She says when it shut down, it hurt sales.

“Most of the business, I would say 85% of the business, comes from Kia, and when Kia shuts down, it definitely affects Newt’s,” she said.

Douglas said they know how their decisions impact their entire community and they’re trying their best to get things up and running as quickly and safely as possible.

“We’ve got 2,700 people who work here at KMMG (Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia), but when you add in our supplier base and our contract service support, that number grows to about 14,000 people. That’s 14,000 families that are impacted by decisions made by this company,” he said.

Douglas said they’ve put in all kinds of procedures and protocols to keep their employees safe. The company hopes the supply chain issues can get sorted out and they can bring workers back as soon as next week.

Kia plant in West Point closes until mid April over coronavirus