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WEST POINT, GA-It’s a done deal, says Gov. Sonny Perdue of Kia Motors Corp.’s plans to break ground Oct. 20 on its first assembly plant in the US. The $1.2-billion facility is tentatively scheduled to open in 2009, employing a work force of 2,893. Another 2,600 jobs are expected to be created at nearby parts suppliers.

Kia had planned ground-breaking ceremonies April 26 and again on May 10 in this Georgia town of 4,000 residents, about 75 miles southwest of Downtown Atlanta. But an alleged $108 million bribery scandal in South Korea involving Kia Motors’ parent, Hyundai Motor Group, caused the plant’s delay , as GlobeSt.com previously reported.

Perdue, who is seeking reelection in the Nov. 7 general election, personally signed the deal in March in Seoul. In a brief prepared statement, Perdue says the arrival of Kia “will result in thousands of jobs for Georgians and the continued growth and success of the company.” Hyundai and Kia are expanding overseas productions to meet their goal of becoming the world’s sixth largest automaker by 2010, the companies previously announced.

The plant will be built on a 3,300-acre site at the intersection of Interstate 85 and Webb Road in Troup County. The state plans to build a new interchange off I-85 to accommodate the plant. Area brokers tell GlobeSt.com the plant will probably trigger development of a new industrial corridor in and around Troup County.

The total economic incentives package Georgia offered Kia Motors came to $410 million or about $164,000 per job creation, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, as GlobeSt.com previously reported. The package includes $75.9 million in job tax credits over five years; $20.2 million for a job training center on the site; and $60.5 million to purchase and prepare the site. West Point and Troup County are offered up to $130 million in property tax abatements over 15 years.

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