The one millionth Kia vehicle to come into the United States through the Port of Tacoma – a 2011 Optima Hybrid, still covered in protective wrap – rolled off a ship at the Port’s Blair Terminal on August 11.
“We congratulate Kia Motors on reaching this milestone at our Port,” said Connie Bacon, commission president, Port of Tacoma.
Since February 1995, Auto Warehousing Company (AWC) and its 200 employees have processed every Kia imported through the Port of Tacoma.
“This tremendous milestone demonstrates the strength of a long-standing partnership between Kia Motors America and the Port of Tacoma,” said Tom Loveless, vice president of sales, Kia Motors America (KMA).
“Kia’s commitment to the U.S. market is reflected in our growth and long list of critically acclaimed products, including the all-new Optima Hybrid that is now arriving in dealer showrooms.”
The Optima Hybrid is Kia’s first-ever hybrid vehicle in the U.S. market and was introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2010. The 2011 Optima Hybrid uses a full parallel hybrid system and can be driven in zero emission, full-electric drive mode at speeds up to 62 miles an hour, or in a blended gas-electric mode at any speed, says the company.
When the Optima Hybrid comes to a stop and the electrical load is low, the engine shuts off to completely idle fuel consumption and emissions. The vehicle uses a lithium polymer battery, developed in South Korea by LG Chem.
Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea.