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Over the past 10 years, Georgia has been going on a road trip. The entire Southeast has become the nation's new automotive epicenter, and Georgia has easily kept pace, leading the region in the production of vehicles and component parts.

When Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. broke ground in West Point, Ga., in 2006 for its first-ever North American assembly plant, the region began to transform. Since then, Kia and its suppliers have created thousands of new jobs. At the same time, other new, expanding, or transforming companies have continued to play a large role in the supply chain for major auto assembly plants in neighboring states and beyond.

Of course, other auto-related operations haven't been idling. Middle Georgia's Blue Bird is holding firm to its position as a top manufacturer of school buses, and Kumho Tire opened the largest new manufacturing operation in Macon since 1977. And trailer giant Great Dane, one of the great historic, Georgia-grown brands, made a triumphant homecoming when it located a new plant in Statesboro.

Over the past decade, Quick Start has worked with over 60 auto companies. Over the next few posts, we take a look in the rearview mirror to highlight the economic impact this recent boom has had on our state.

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