An automotive parts manufacturer plans to open its first American plant in Auburn, creating 95 jobs for the area.
Shinhwa Group, located in Changwon, South Korea, will be investing $42 million into the new venture, which is its first U.S.-based branch, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Tuesday in a news release.
“Alabama has become an important player in a changing automotive industry, and Shinhwa’s plans to open its first U.S. plant in Auburn is proof of our success,” Ivey said.
Alabama is already home to a thriving auto-manufacturing industry, which produces close to 1 million vehicles per year, the release said.
Auburn Mayor Ron Anders said that having Shinhwa Group in the community will benefit Auburn.
“We are grateful for the confidence that the company’s leadership has in Auburn and look forward to the significant economic impact this project will have for our city,” Anders said.
Though this is the group’s first U.S. base, it has been located in Changwon, South Korea, since 1995, according to the release.
“Shinhwa is a welcome addition to Alabama’s network of high-caliber auto suppliers,” said Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, Greg Canfield. “I’m confident that Shinhwa will realize major benefits from the technical talents of Alabama’s workforce and the state’s business-friendly environment. Working together, I know we can build a solid future.”
Construction has begun on the facility, which will be located in Auburn Technology Park West and there are hopes for competition of Phase 1 by the upcoming summer of 2020, the release said.
The Auburn Technology Park West is one Auburn’s industrial locations and includes other businesses that are headquartered both nationally and internationally, such as GE Aviation in Ohio, Rausch and Pausch, L.P. in Germany and 2a USA, Inc. in Italy.
“We will start our U.S. project by introducing a highly automated machining process to be followed in the near future with our die casting lines,” said Duk Keun Oh, president of the newly founded entity Shinhwa U.S. Auto Corp. “We are grateful for our collaboration with Seohan in Auburn and see great opportunities for our growth in North America.”
The plant will focus production on drive shafts for Hyundai Motor Manufacturing, located in Montgomery, and Kia Motor Manufacturing, near West Point in Georgia.
“The Shinhwa Group has become a leader in the aluminum die casting industry because of our willingness to overcome technical challenges,” said Kwi-Hyun Lee, CEO of the Shinhwa Group in South Korea. “We are proud to call Auburn our new home and to serve our customers in the U.S.A.”