Hyundai Motor America confirmed yesterday that it will invest $150 million in a new North American headquarters on the site of its current complex in Fountain Valley, California.
The announcement came after a meeting between California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hyundai Motor Company Chairman Mong-Koo Chung, who heads the fifth largest auto company in the world.
Orange County – where Fountain Valley is – has been Hyundai’s home since its arrival in the United States in 1985. Hyundai will invest about $150 million, the largest investment ever made by Hyundai in the state.
During the approximately two-year project, it is estimated that as many as 1,530 new construction jobs will be created with a $273 million total economic output, according to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.
It will also double the space of the current headquarters and provide room to double the growing auto company’s corporate staff to about 1,400 employees, according to John Krafcik, chief executive of Hyundai Motor America.
“We think this is the best place to plan and design our vehicles. It is still a center of innovation for North America,” Krafcik said.
Construction will start next year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. First, Hyundai has to move about 700 employees out of the campus to a temporary headquarters. The automaker is looking at three nearby sites and will make the move early next year.
The new facility will double the size and people capacity of the current headquarters. Plans call for approximately half-a-million square feet in floor and garage space, up considerably from today’s current 220,000 square-foot structure. Construction is expected to begin in mid 2011 and be completed by the end of 2012. Hyundai employees will work from temporary office space in Orange County during that time. California in particular is a critical market for Hyundai and a barometer of success in the United States. Currently, in California, the company employs approximately 1,400 people. It has invested $152 million in facility development and oversees 63 franchised California dealers.
August marked the third best volume month in company history, with a 5.3% retail market share — the highest market share ever achieved — and was the 20th consecutive month of market share gains. For the year, Hyundai has reported cumulative sales of 363,491, up 17% versus the same period in 2009, and remains on track to establish an all-time sales record for the full year
This November will see the launch of Hyndai’s line of Equus vehicles — luxury cars that will sell for about $60,000, which in theory puts it in competition with Lexus, BMW, Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz.