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SEOUL (Reuters) - Looking to bolster its presence in its biggest overseas market, South Korea's Kia Motors Corp. said on Tuesday it was considering building a plant in the United States.

South Korea's second-biggest car maker did not give a possible site or timetable in a filing to the stock exchange.

But the comment came after Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour visited the firm to lobby it to build a plant in his state.

Kia is an affiliate of top South Korean producer, Hyundai Motor Co., which opened its first U.S. plant in Alabama in May.

Analysts see the plant as a litmus test for the company's success in overseas markets.

Hyundai Motor Group plans to strength Kia after handing control of the company to a son of its group chairman. Kia controls 23 percent of the home market.

Barbour met Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo in Seoul on Monday.

"Governor Barbour offered incentives equivalent to those given for Hyundai Motor's Alabama plant if Kia builds a plant in Mississippi," Hyundai said in a separate statement.

Chung said the group would seek further globalization of production for Hyundai Motor and Kia, according to Hyundai.

Kia's July sales soared 47 percent to 114,406 units from a year ago with new models helping exports surge 54 percent.

International rating agency Standard & Poor's on Monday placed Hyundai Motor and Kia on creditwatch with positive implications, citing improving competitiveness in their key overseas markets.

Shares in Kia rose 0.99 percent to end at 15,300 won, compared with the wider market's 1.21 percent gain.



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If Kia can keep their quality with a plant in USA it would be a good move. all the Major auto and truck players from over seas have plants that build most of their products here. Some even build the engines and transmissions here. But it's keeeping the quality that is most important to this Sorento owner. Like with Nissan I noticed after they were under the control of Carlos Ghosn the quality has dropped off on Nissan products being built in the USA.
 
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