February 13, 2003
Hyundai and Kia celebrate Grand Opening of new California design centre
Fountain Valley, California – Mong-Koo Chung, chairman and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corp., gathered with elected officials in Irvine, California on Wednesday to celebrate the grand opening of the Hyundai/Kia Motors Design & Technical Center.
The $30 million state-of-the-art facility houses 100 auto designers, engineers, model makers and technicians, many who were responsible for design successes such as Hyundai’s Santa Fe sport-utility vehicle and its HCD 6 and HCD 7 concept vehicles, as well as Kia’s KCD-1/Slice concept vehicle.
The Hyundai and Kia design teams moved from Hyundai’s Fountain Valley headquarters to their new 90,000 square foot design and technical center in January 2003. The new facility is fitted with an advanced visualization system from Blue Water Technologies housed in a presentation room with three projection screens and two turntables. Designers and math modelers operate from the latest Alias / Silicon Graphic work stations while clay modelers sculpt new design proposals on six surface plates and operate a 5-axis milling machine with state-of-the-art shop facilities.
Hyundai and Kia selected the City of Irvine for the home of its design and technical center because of both companies’ rich history in Orange County, Calif. Hyundai Motor America is headquartered in neighboring Fountain Valley, Calif. and Kia Motors America is headquartered in Irvine.
“Kia Motors America was, in essence, born and raised in Irvine, and we look forward to continuing that tradition,” said Peter M. Butterfield, president and CEO, Kia Motors America.
“The major benefit of this design center is having a California-based design staff that understands how to take automotive trends and make them appealing to U.S. consumers on a bigger scale.”