Asia Minute: South Korea’s Hyundai Motors Boosting Investment in the United States

Jan 18, 2017

2017 Hyundai Sonata
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Foreign automakers have come under increasing scrutiny since Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election.  And each week it seems another one announces plans for new investment in the United States. The latest word comes from South Korea, and Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

Hyundai Motor is going to invest more than 3 billion dollars in the United States over the next five years.

That’s an increase of 50 percent over the 2 billion and change Hyundai has invested in the U.S. over the past five years.

A company spokesman denied the timing of the announcement has anything to do with Donald Trump taking the oath of office as president of the United States later this week.

The spokesman told Korea’s Joon Ang Daily that “investments are made every year because the U.S. is such an important market—it doesn’t have any relationship with Trump’s recent moves.”

Hyundai’s president told Bloomberg News that success in the U.S. market “is a barometer of our success globally.”

He adds that a significant portion of the company’s investment will be to existing production lines in the United States and to research and development.

Hyundai has had a factory in Alabama for more than a decade. That plant produces the Sonata and Elantra sedans and the Santa Fe sport utility vehicle.

Kia Motors, which is partially owned by Hyundai, has a plant in Georgia.  But Kia also has factory plans in Mexico.  Where it recently built a plant with the capacity to produce 400 thousand vehicles a year, 80 percent of which are planned to be exported to the United States.