New automobile parts maker to open $42M plant in Auburn

The plant will create nearly 100 jobs, according to the governor’s office

New automobile parts maker to open $42M plant in Auburn
(Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)

AUBURN , Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama continues to attract new business in the automotive sector. Tuesday, Gov. Kay Ivey announced that an auto parts manufacturer will build a plant in Auburn to serve the area’s growing automotive base.

South Korean company Shinhwa Group will initially make driveshafts for vehicles built by Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama’s Montgomery plant, as well as for Kia Motor Manufacturing’s nearby Georgia plant.

“Shinhwa’s decision to invest $42 million and create 95 jobs in Auburn is great news for Alabama,” Ivey said. “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.”

Shinhwa’s Auburn operation will be its first manufacturing facility in the U.S. Construction is already underway on the facility, located in Auburn Technology Park West, and Phase 1 of the project is expected to be finished in summer 2020.

Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said Shinhwa’s capabilities bring a new dimension to the state’s automotive supply chain, which has been expanding rapidly through new investment in recent years.

“Shinhwa is a welcome addition to Alabama’s network of high-caliber auto suppliers,” Canfield said. “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.”

Alabama’s automobile-building muscle continues to grow, making it the No. 3 auto exporting state in the country.

It started with the landing of the coveted Mercedes-Benz plant in the mid-90s. Now, Alabama is home to multiple automobile plants - or plants under construction - including Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota/Mazda, as well as their suppliers.

Those plants currently churn out approximately 1 million vehicles a year while supporting more than 40,000 direct jobs and thousands more indirectly.

Copyright 2019 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.