KB Autosys supplies brake pads to an array of auto makers including Kia and Hyundai.

A Korean-owned supplier of brake pads will invest $38 million in a new west Georgia factory that will hire 180 people.  

KB Autosys will set up the new plant in Meriwether County, near the Kia plant in West Point that will serve as one of its customers, along with GM and Hyundai, which has a plant just down the road in Montgomery, Ala.  

The facility in Lone Oak, Ga., will span 108,000 square feet. KB Autosys America, the local subsidiary, chose the plant after visiting multiple communities across the Southeast, according to Vice President Richard Kaatz.  

Meriwether County, which sits 22 miles from Kia, is already home to multiple Korean firms in the auto sector, including Dongwon Autopart Technology and Mando Corp. Together they about a thousand people. 

Like another recent investor — Jintech in adjacent Harris County — KB Autosys is based in the city of Asan in South Chungcheong province. In Georgia, KB will hire for administrative positions, quality and logistics specialists and machine operators, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development 

The state recruited $1.3 billion in investment from South Korea in fiscal 2020, promising 2,700 jobs. Much of that came from the new SK Battery plant in Commerce, but Georgia has long been a magnet for foreign investment in the automotive sector, where it now counts more than 200 facilities.  

Meriwether County is the sponsor of Global Atlanta’s South Korea channel.  

Learn more about the county’s Korean outreach here: Korean Investment Leaves Big Impression on West Georgia County 

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...