Hyundai opens new test center
South Korean automaker Hyundai on Wednesday opened a new 60 million dollar testing center in California's Mojave Desert as part of its strategy to gain a biggest share of the North American market.
The proving ground, some 160 kilometers (100 miles) north of Los Angeles will be used for testing new vehicles by Hyundai Motor Company and its Kia affiliate.
Hyundai vice chairman Dong Jin Kim attended the opening of the 1,750-hectare (4,300 acre) facility that includes a 10 kilometer (6.4-mile) oval track, a 185,000 square meter (two million square-foot) vehicle dynamics area, as well as special surface roads constructed to duplicate US highways.
"The Hyundai-Kia Motors California Proving Ground will ensure that Hyundai and Kia continue to develop the highest quality vehicles," said Kim.
"Hyundai and Kia are committed to the US, and this facility will help us design vehicles that appeal to consumers in this market as well as worldwide."
Hyundai this year plans to open its US plant in Alabama as a major springboard to become a top five global carmaker.
Hyundai Motor Group, including its affiliate Kia Motors and overseas units, sold 3.18 million units last year, up 24.7 percent from 2.55 million in 2003.