North American Int’l Auto ShowDETROIT – Kia Motors Corp. likely will announce where it will build its first North American plant in the spring or summer, says its chief U.S. executive.

“We haven’t yet got an official date, but I know there is a lot of activity that’s going on with regards to a production facility in America,” Len Hunt, chief operating officer, Kia Motors America, tells reporters following Kia’s press conference at the North American International Auto Show here.

Hunt says the decision-making is being done by the parent company in South Korea, so he is not privy to all of the details.

However, he says it most likely will be located in a southern state, possibly Alabama.

Kia’s sister company, Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd., opened its first U.S. plant last May in Montgomery, AL. It does not intend to produce any Kia models, however.

Kia has spoken of the need for its own manufacturing plant in the U.S. as it is capacity constrained in South Korea, which Hunt cites as one reason why its sales were not better last year.

cschweinsberg@primediabusiness.com