The Hyundai Motor Group plans to invest $3.1 billion in its US facilities between now and 2021. In the previous five years, Hyundai spent $2.1 billion on our market, so this projection amounts to a 50% increase in investment.
In January while speaking to the press, company president Chung Jin Haeng said he expects the bulk of this new investment to go toward research and development. Funds will also go toward expanding the Hyundai manufacturing center in Montgomery, Alabama, and the Kia plant in West Point, Georgia. Chung also mentioned the possibility of building a new facility.
Investment of this scale is a clear show of confidence in the American economy, and says a lot about how Hyundai is hoping to continue growing. Let’s take a closer look at what this kind of investment means for Hyundai’s operations here.
Hyundai Set to Invest Heavily in US Facilities
The Montgomery plant is Hyundai’s first and largest manufacturing facility stateside. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) was announced in 2002 and produced its first vehicle in 2005.
These are the cars assembled in Montgomery:
The Santa Fe was previously built at this facility, too.
In addition to general assembly, the complex also contains a stamping shop, welding shop, paint shop, and two engine shops. In total, HMMA employs close to 3,000 people.
There is even speculation into two ways Hyundai could eventually expand this facility. HMMA is currently home to a two-mile test track. As stated above, Hyundai wants to invest in R&D, so this part of the facility could be improved and expanded for more thorough testing. It might be an ideal location for autonomous vehicle testing.
With its current resources, HMMA is capable of producing 399,500 cars in a year. That being said, an ideal second way to invest would be upgrade these assembly lines, which are currently operating at maximum capacity.
New Facility Planned
The Bloomberg article linked above mentions that Hyundai could be planning a new facility for the US. There’s no indication of where this facility would be built, but it would make the most sense if they kept it in the southeast, near their other factories.
As for which cars this facility would build, the article mentions models from the new Genesis Motors line, as well as a “US-specific SUV.” It’s not clear whether that SUV would be one of the planned Genesis crossovers or if Hyundai is looking to slot a larger SUV above the Santa Fe.
No matter how it plays out, it’s an exciting time for Hyundai. Increased investment is a sign of high confidence, and that means we’re sure to see some great things heading our way in the future from Hyundai. We’ll make sure to keep you up to speed at Zimbrick Hyundai Eastside in Madison, Wisconsin.
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