SOUTH KOREA: Hyundai Mobis plant supporting new Hyundai Motor US factory

By just-auto.com editorial team | 1 June 2005

Hyundai Mobis reportedly has begun production at its mammoth plant in Montgomery, Alabama, aiming to provide quicker and improved service for Hyundai Motor, its key affiliate, in the United States.

The Korea Times said the plant, built on a 660,000-square-metre site, produces key parts for the Sonata that has rolled off the nearby Hyundai assembly line since April.

Hyundai Mobis invested $US120 million to set up the factory. A wide range of parts, including chassis and cockpit modules, bumpers and door trims, are produced there.

A Hyundai Motor spokesman said the Alabama parts plant demonstrates what Mobis has achieved in terms of technologies since it began its parts service in 1977 as a subsidiary of Hyundai Group. Mobis introduced the so-called just-in-sequence production method for assembly lines to help manufacturing workers do their jobs more quickly and more efficiently than previously. All material flows in the factory are completely automated.

Parts produced in the US plant will be distributed throughout the country, enabling American end-users to receive service more quickly and more efficiently.

The new factory currently produces items only for the Sonata, but will expand product lines in future to support sales of all models produced by Hyundai Motor in Montgomery. When Hyundai Motor begins production of the Santa Fe sports utility vehicle next year, new parts lines will be added, Mobis officials told the Korea Times.

At full capacity, the plant will be able to supply auto parts for 300,000 cars annually, the report said.

As Hyundai Motor has extended production globally, Mobis has followed. It has established module factories in Beijing and Shanghai and plans to build plants in Slovakia in 2006 and India in 2007.