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News of  October 17, 2001


Hyundai's Award Winning Design Team Finds New Home

- Cutting Edge Design Center to Be Built in the Irvine Spectrum -

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. - What happens when a hot automotive design team creates one successful model after another?  They grow until they run out of space!  Hyundai Motor America (HMA), who has had their seventh consecutive record-breaking month of sales in September, is building a new facility for Hyundai's expanding design team in the U.S.  The same team who has been responsible for design successes such as the Santa Fe sport- utility vehicle and the HCD 6 concept vehicle is "moving on up" to the Irvine Spectrum.

Located on 7.4 acres of land at the northeast corner of Bake Parkway and Irvine Center Drive, the $8 million piece of land will be home to the Hyundai/Kia Design Center, a $25 million design facility housing 150 employees, including designers, model makers and technicians.  Purchase of the land ends Hyundai's six-month, exhaustive search for property in the Irvine area.

The architectural design of the 90,000 square foot facility will embody Hyundai's progressive approach to vehicle design and incorporate high levels of natural light, which is important to design as it effects how a vehicle looks under "real world" conditions.  The state-of-the-art facility will be computer-based, allowing designers to develop highly technical 3-D computer sketches, which the equipment will then turn into clay and modeling foam molds.  Construction of the facility will be complete at the fourth quarter of 2002.

"This new design facility is an important milestone for Hyundai in the United States," said Finbarr O'Neill.  "With the additional resources available at the new design facility, Hyundai will continue to raise the bar, developing exciting new models for consumers."

The design team has developed concept cars such as the HCD-III, named one of the "Most Influential Designs" by Automotive News, and production models such as the sporty Tiburon and the Santa Fe sport-utility.  With this new design facility, the team will play an even larger role in designing the Hyundai vehicles seen on American roads.

Also moving to the new facility will be Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI), which insures that all Hyundai vehicles meet exhaust emission and safety regulations, and provides recommendations on model changes for the U.S. market. Hyundai's design team is currently housed at the corporate headquarters in Fountain Valley, California.

(Oct. 15, 2001)

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