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 |  Jun 02 2011, 4:23 PM

Kia is planning to boost U.S production capacity by one fifth next year, because of high demand for new models. The Optima sedan is one of the Kia models meeting high demand, and the south Korean automaker is excited to take advantage of the world’s second-biggest auto market.

Kia stated today, it will invest $100 million to boost capacity. Kia’s Georgia plant will increase capacity from 300,000 to 360,000 vehicles starting in 2012. Prodiction of  the 2012 Optima sedan will begin this September its Georgia plant, currently producing the Sorento SUV and the Hyundai Santa Fe SUV. 1,000 workers have been hired by Kia in anticipation for the additional production.

Sales jumped for the Korean automaker by 53.4 percent in May to hit an all-time high consecutively for three months caused by increased Optima sales.

Market shares topped 10 percent for both Kia an Hyundai together ranking fifth in global car sales. This has been attributed to slumping Japanese car sales caused by the March 11 earthquake.

“Kia is experiencing unprecedented growth in the U.S,” Ahn Byung-mo, group president and CEO of Kia Motors America, said.

[Source: Reuters]