News Column

DAS North America Breaks Ground on New Plant

June 21, 2013

In welcoming an automotive supplier that planned to build a $37 million manufacturing facility in Montgomery, leaders were eager to portray the move as the beginning of a long relationship.

Hyundai and Kia supplier DAS North America is now part of a "family," said Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean, who was among several state, county and city officials at a Thursday groundbreaking ceremony.

"We are always here for you," Dean said after describing Hyundai as the "parent" of recent developments.

Those family ties were in plain view as Gui Il Chun, President of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, got a round of applause for his company's role in leading DAS to build a 300,000-square-foot facility in Montgomery Industrial Park and add 300 workers over the next few years.

DAS will also transfer its 100 current workers from the temporary Montgomery facility it moved into last year.

It's a move that DAS Corp. president and CEO Kyung Ho Kang called a "first step."

"Today as we commemorate the groundbreaking for the new car seat manufacturing plant, we are celebrating among friends, friends who share our vision and aspirations for the future of DAS," Kang said.

DAS manufactures seat components for Hyundai and Kia vehicles built at the Kia plant in West Point, Ga. The pace of business for the company has increased enough to justify a plant double the size of what they originally planned to build.

Gov. Robert Bentley continued the message of partnership in telling Kang that the state would do anything it could to help ease the expansion process.

"If there are any obstacles that are in the way, then we'll move those obstacles out of the way," Bentley said to Kang.

Construction is expected to be finished early next year. The company plans to hire 50 to 60 new workers before moving into the new plant. It expects to hire about 50 more by the end of 2014.

DAS North America is a subsidiary of DAS-Korea. It's headquartered in Kyeong Ju, South Korea.

The Advertiser reported the expansion plans June 1, and Chief Operating Officer James Uhm said at the time that it's been a smooth ride so far for the supplier.

"We have been extremely well received by the community," Uhm said. "We haven't really seen any major issues, and we hope to continue that trend."


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Source: Copyright Montgomery Advertiser (AL) 2013

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