Kia Motors Corp. apparently isn't letting Hurricane Katrina's Gulf-area destruction and chaos scare it away from building a plant in Mississippi.
Last week, a company spokesman in Seoul told Reuters that Kia CEO Chung Eui Sun said "Mississippi has a high chance" of landing Kia's first North American auto plant. The decision will be made by year end.
Kia also apparently has no hang-ups about plant-site searches. Automakers typically conduct their site searches under secrecy, complete with confidentiality agreements, code names and hotel check-in aliases. Last month, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour told the press that Kia is interested in a site near Meridian, Miss.
Meridian would put the automaker about 150 miles west of the new Montgomery, Ala., plant operated by its sister company, Hyundai Motor Co. The two automakers have said that they want to share vehicle platforms and parts but remain independent in their operations.