Korean car company Kia has announced the official opening of a new $1billion facility in the US state of Georgia.

The plant, which has began production of the new Kia Sorento in November, covers 2.2 million square feet (204,000 square metres) of a 2200-acre site which also has its own test track and railway system.

The new production facility already employs 1200 people, and that number is expected to double by the end of 2010.

Though the global motor industry is struggling to come to terms with the effects of global recession, Kia is bucking the trend: its car sales in the US grew by 9.8% to 300,063 units in 2009, and the company says it aims to increase sales by another 15.6% to 347,000 vehicles in 2010.

Kia's Ray hybrid concept car will make its debut at the Geneva motor show on March 2.

» Kia US official site
» Kia UK official site