Kia Motors will send about 400 plant workers from Georgia to South Korea for training in September alone, doubling the number of employees sent to Korea in all previous months combined. 

The intense waves of training at the Kia research and development center in Namyang city comes about two months before the Korean automaker rolls out its first SUVs from the Georgia plant. 

About 200 employees boarded multiple flights from Atlanta to South Korea on Monday, Sept. 21.  About the same number will follow later this week. 

By the end of the month some 800 of the company’s more than 1,000 Georgia employees will have received training in Korea. When it reaches full 300,000-vehicle capacity, the plant will employ 2,500 people. 

Randy Jackson, director of human resources for Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Inc., said he’s gotten positive feedback from employees who have gone on earlier training trips. 

“The reports we are receiving show that the workforce at Kia’s first North American automobile manufacturing facility are top notch,” Mr. Jackson said in a news release. “In addition, our team members have returned home and enthusiastically endorsed the overseas training program.” 

The Namyang facility encompasses the whole design process, from pre-design studies to prototyping and crash testing.  

Kia is currently producing test vehicles at the Georgia plant, and officials have said that production is on schedule to begin in November. 

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...