Georgia Receives the 2007 Gold Shovel Award
Mark Crawford (Jun/Jul 07)
When it comes to automotive manufacturing, assembly, and parts distribution, Georgia is a big-time player. Georgia is home to five automotive assembly facilities and nearly 300 parts manufacturers and suppliers. More than 50 automotive companies have North American headquarters in Atlanta, including Saab, Porsche, and Daewoo.
This strong automotive base (plus an offered incentive package worth about $258 million) is one reason Kia Motors Corporation decided to build its first American car-making plant in West Point, bringing 2,900 new jobs to the west Georgia region. The $1.2 billion, two-million-square-foot manufacturing plant will produce up to 300,000 vehicles a year. The average employee's annual salary will be about $50,000. Five suppliers are also planning to open plants near West Point, adding another 2,600 jobs to the local economy.
"Georgia has a strong presence in the automotive industry and has long delivered the right resources and talent to help companies thrive," says Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, who started discussions with Kia during a 2003 trade mission to South Korea. "Kia's decision to locate its first U.S. assembly plant in Georgia is a testament to the experience and know-how Georgia delivers to the automotive industry."
In other industry news, Hewlett-Packard Company is consolidating 85 data centers into six larger U.S. centers - including two 200,000-square-foot data centers in metro Atlanta. The consolidation will help the company save about $1 billion in IT costs. Atlanta was chosen because of availability and affordability of space, power, and network bandwidth. Each location will host two separate physical sites with more than 50,000 square feet of useable floor space. This $800 million investment will result in 265 high-paying jobs.
Another high-tech win for Georgia is Automatic Data Processing's new $25 million, 1,000-employee business solutions center in Augusta. This $9 billion company is a recognized global provider of innovative business services. The new ADP Solution Center will offer business-to-business support to assist clients using payroll and HR-related applications.