Most of the big automaker players have gotten out of the steel-making business, but according to Automotive News, the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group is just getting into it. More to the point, Hyundai and Kia have bought into a $5 billion steel mill operated by sister chaebol company Hyundai Steel. The mill's aim is to "boost synergy effects among affiliates by creating a circular production and recycling link between steel manufacturing, steel processing and car making."
With an in-house operation, the two companies can be more assured of getting the quality and quantity of high-tensile steel that they need to build their cars at more stable prices. Hyundai's stake in the plant is 12.6 percent, Kia's is 21.4 percent, and between them, they'll use 50 different types of steel from among the 225 types manufactured at the environmentally friendly plant. The other steels will reportedly be used for ships and electronics.
The first blast furnace was lit last week and will be able to provide four million tons of steel annually. The second furnace is expected to be finished early next year, and will provide the same amount again. Even so, Hyundai said it will need steel from other sources.
Remember when the word "Hyundai" meant "Excel," and not "juggernaut?" While you ponder that thought, be sure to click on the jump to watch an amazing so-bad-it's-good promotional video from the folks at Hyundai Steel.
[Sources: Automotive News – sub req'd; Hyundai Steel]