Hyundai Motor plans to build a $US50 million automotive proving ground in California City, California. The facility will be the test site for next-generation vehicles from both Hyundai and affiliate KIA.

Groundbreaking on the 4,300-acre facility, located 100 miles north of Los Angeles in the Mojave Desert, will take place later this year. The project is scheduled for completion in 2004 and will feature the construction of a 6.4-mile (about 10 kilometres) oval track, a vehicle dynamics area (VDA), a vehicle-handling course inside the oval track, a paved hill road, and several special surface roads. A 30,000-square-foot complex for offices and indoor testing will also be constructed.

The proving ground will be staffed and run by Hyundai Motor Company subsidiary, Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI), which is responsible for the technical development of cars and trucks in North America.

The proving ground is the most recent US investment by Hyundai, coming after the newly opened $24 million design centre in Irvine, California, and the planned $1 billion manufacturing plant in Montgomery, Alabama – the company’s first US manufacturing facility.

Hyundai selected California City because it has proven to be an ideal location for other automotive research and development industries.

The facility will bring about 40 new full-time jobs to the East Kern County area.