WEST POINT, Ga. -- Local officials say Kia Motors' investment of $1.6 billion in new equipment and upgrades at its auto assembly plant give it greater stability and signal its long-term future in the west Georgia city.

Company executives and government officials this week announced plans to invest $1.6 billion on new machinery, tools, equipment and other production-enhancing technology over the next 16 years to meet demand for vehicles in the U.S.

West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson tells the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer ( that the investment gives the company the ability to grow its supplier network in the region. Ferguson said that's "vitally important" and will lead to more job creation.