MOBIS has begun the construction of an annual 300,000 unit scale of module plant in Alabama, U.S.A., targeting mass production from 2005.
It is the first time for a Korean auto parts maker to build a plant in the United States.
On March 7 this year, MOBIS held a groundbreaking ceremony in Montgomery, Alabama. On hand at the ceremony were about 300 state and city officials and business representatives, including Alabama State Governor Bob Riley, Montgomery City Mayor Bobby Bright, Korean Consular General Jung-Pyo Choand MOBIS Chairman Jeong-In Parkand President Kyu-Hwan Han.
MOBIS will invest a total of US$30 million for the state-of-the-art module plant to be built on a 330,000 square meter site. When completed, the projected plant is to mass-produce driver's seat and chassis modules for 300,000 units of cars, starting in early 2005. The produced modules will be supplied for "NF" and "CM" (follow-on models of EF Sonata and Santa Fe) manufactured at the nearby Hyundai Motor Alabama Plant.
To ensure the competitiveness of cars and parts to be produced in the U.S., MOBIS earlier concluded technical cooperation agreements with world-renowned high-tech firms such as C&A, Brid and Bosch under its plan to manufacture cutting-edge modules built with advanced airbag and ESP brake systems at the Alabama plant.
MOBIS also plans to contribute to the productivity enhancement of Hyundai Motor's car plant, under construction only nine miles away from its module plant, by supplying module parts rapidly in a direct and timely manner. For this, MOBIS intends to construct the plant with the adoption of a reinforced automation system to bolster efficiency and concentrate on localization. It also plans to establish an R&D center in Detroit that can support continued research and development activities for the high-tech modules to be produced by the Alabama plant.
In an address at the ceremony, meanwhile, MOBIS Chairman Park Jeong-In said, "Our best efforts will be made to make the MOBIS' plant here a representative success case among foreign enterprises advanced into Alabama." He also assured customers of Hyundai Motor in the United States that they will receive better quality parts and services than ever before when the plant is put into operation.
With the scheduled construction of the Alabama module plant, MOBIS is now able to speed up its 'global management' being equipped with a total of nine overseas corporations, including four plants in China.