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Tuesday 06th of January 2009
May 23, 2005

Hyundai expands on US market presence


by Brian Turner
Hyundai expands on US market presence

South Korean automobile manufacturer Hyundai, the top car seller in China and India, has opened its first US facility, a $1.1 billion plant in Montgomery, Alabama.

The company claims that it is the most advanced in the world. Hyundai is the third foreign carmaker - after Honda and Mercedes - to move into Alabama, where until 1997 no vehicles at all were made.

Once the new plant becomes fully operational, Alabama will have the capacity to produce 800,000 cars per year.

The southern United States has begun to rival Michigan as an automobile manufacturing center because the wages there are much lower and union organization is much less widespread, making it a hospitable place for foreign carmakers to locate plants.

Hyundai, with its subsidiary Kia, is one of the fastest growing carmakers in the US. Last year, Hyundai sold 419,000 cars in the US last year, 4.1 percent of the market.

The company is also seeing success in Europe, where it is currently building a $1 billion plant in Slovakia.

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