The Hyundai Motor plant in Alabama has started manufacturing cars with its annual production capability being around 300,000 units per annum.
This is South Koreas first automobile plant in the largest automobile market, the U.S.
The opening ceremony for Hyundai Motors plant in Alabama was held on Friday with Former President George H.W. Bush, Hyundai Motor Company President Chung Mong-ku, and Alabama Governor Bob Riley attending.
Chung called the day a new beginning in Hyundai Motor history. He also said that with the start of its manufacturing plant in the U.S., Hyundai Motor finally joined the ranks of true global automobile makers.
This year, Hyundai is planning to produce new NF Sonata of 150,000 units in the plant, and will additionally produce 300,000 new SUVs, the follow-up model to their Santa Fe model SUV. Its project code is CM.
The company expects the new plant will contribute to an increase in its market share of 3 percent, up from last years 2.5 percent.
The plants construction was started in 2002 and cost the company around $1.1 billion (1.1 trillion won) to complete. The plant has an area of 2,100,000 pyeong and floor space of 56,340 pyeong (one pyeong = 3.3058 square meters).
Approximately 4,000 people attended the ceremony, including the South Korean minister of Commerce, Industry and Energy Lee Hee-beom, Hong Seok-hyun, Koreas ambassador to the United States, Moon Jung-in, chairman of the Presidential Committee on the Northeast Asian Cooperation Initiative, 13 lawmakers both from ruling and opposition parties, Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright, former South Korean Ambassador Thomas Hubbard, and Senator Jeff Sessions.