Kia has been recognized as the top brand for initial quality by J.D. Power, the first time in 27 years a nonpremium brand has held the top spot.
“For the brand itself, it is absolutely huge,” said Stuart Countess, chief administrative officer of the Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia plant in West Point. “Being a nonpremium brand and winning … is just outstanding, but I think more importantly what it means for the facility, KMMG in West Point, Georgia, is tremendous. The amount of vehicles put out, the Sorento and the Optima (manufactured at the West Point plant) heavily influence what goes in the overall brand score.”
Before he was recently named chief administrative officer, Countess served as vice president of quality, but he was quick to defer any credit to the employees “who put so much into everything every day.”
“One of the traits of this entire factory is that everybody is responsible for quality every day,” he said. “So it takes the 3,000 people who work there to do it. … It’s what we focus on, what we teach people, and this year they got to see the rewards of why we do that on a day in and day out basis.”