S. Korea's Mando completes U.S. car parts plant

SEOUL, July 17 (Yonhap) -- Mando Corp., one of South Korea's largest car parts manufacturers, said Thursday that it has completed its plant in the United States, which will allow it to make further inroads into the vast North American market.

The plant in Meriwether, Georgia, will make electronics components that can outfit more than half-a-million vehicles annually, the flagship company of Halla Group said.

The company already has a plant in nearby Alabama as well as operations in Poland, India, Turkey, Brazil and China. The Alabama plant makes suspensions, steering columns and brakes.

The latest plant has 41,000 square meters of factory floor space and was built on 577,000 square meters of land. The company had signed a memorandum of understanding with Georgia in September 2011 for the plant.

Mando said the factory is capable of churning out 600,000 electronic stability controls (ESC) and 170,000 rack type-electronic power steering (R-EPS) systems every year. It also has a steel-casting facility that can produce 18,000 tons of goods per year.

"Production has begun with the finished products to be delivered to Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp., General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC.," a company source said. He said the latest plant will permit the car parts manufacturer to better cope with moves by automakers to make more upscale, sophisticated cars.

Mando said output at the plant is expected to be increased to supply parts for over a million vehicles annually by 2018.

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