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Asian auto supplier to build second facility in Alabama

Keywords: Tags  Seohan Auto USA, Chang-Dug Moon, Mitsubishi Motors, metal components, Hino Motors, Toyota, Hyundai Dymos, Kia Motors Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — Seohan Auto USA Corp. began construction this week on a second 110,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Auburn, Ala., that will focus on machining metal components for the auto industry.

The company, a subsidiary of Ulsan, South Korea-based Korea Flange Co. Ltd., expects the plant to be up and running next year and create 50 jobs by 2015 in the initial phase of the $16.6-million project.

"The expansion will allow us to serve our new customer, Mitsubishi Motors," Seohan USA president Chang-Dug Moon said in an Oct. 2 statement. "The success of our business is due in part to Auburn’s strong work force and the support of the city of Auburn and the state of Alabama."

Seohan’s current Auburn plant, which opened in 2008 and employs 240 people, produces front axles and rear carrier assemblies to several automakers in the United States.

Metal-consuming foreign companies that supply the North American auto industry have been arriving in droves this year, not surprising given that U.S. sales of cars and light trucks are expected to exceed 15.5 million vehicles this year and may reach 16 million next year.

Hino Motors Manufacturing USA Inc., a wholly owned unit of Hino Motors Ltd. and the commercial truck division of Tokyo-based Toyota Motor Corp., said this past week that it will invest $55 million to expand its Marion, Ark., plant, which produces axles, knuckles and suspension components for Toyota. And Hyundai Dymos Inc., a unit of Seoul, South Korea-based Hyundai Motor Co., said it will open a $35-million plant in West Point, Ga., by November 2014 to make seating assemblies for Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Inc. (, Oct. 2).

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