Hyundai Said It Will Build Car Assembly Plant In U.S

Hyundai Said It Will Build Car Assembly Plant In U.S – Brief Article

Hyundai Motor Co., said it is preparing to build a car assembly plant in the United. Hyundai Chairman Chung Mong-koo officially confirmed plans for the company’s first U.S. plant while meeting former U.S. President George Bush, according to a company press release. Bush had toured a Hyundai plant in Asan, 47 miles southwest of Seoul, as part of his recent visit to the South Korean capital.

Several U.S. states are reportedly lobbying for the Hyundai plant, including Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia.

On Nov. 3, Bob Riley, a representative from Alabama, visited Seoul to meet Hyundai officials and discuss bringing Hyundai to his state. Saying plans were not yet solidified, Hyundai declined to say where the plant might be built and added that it could take months to decide.

Quoting an unidentified Hyundai official, Dong-A Ilbo, a major local newspaper, reported that the Hyundai plant under study may have an annual capacity of 300,000 units and start production in 2005. Hyundai officials have said building a plant in the United States would become economically feasible when their sales in the North American market reach 500,000 cars a year. The carmaker is expected to reach the target this year.

According to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association, South Korean firms exported 481,000 vehicles to the U.S. market last year, of which 397,000 came from Hyundai Motor and its affiliate, Kia Motors Corp.

The South Korean government is worried that the exploding car shipment to the U.S. market may trigger a trade dispute with Washington. Hyundai President Kim Dong-Jin visited Washington in October to try to avert a possible trade dispute by explaining his company’s plan to build a plant in the United States.

Hyundai built a $400 million plant capable of producing 100,000 cars a year at Bromont in the Canadian province of Quebec in the late 1980s. That plant was shut down in 1995 because of slumping sales.

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