Not willing to take a backseat to its Japanese rivals, Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI) also has designs on the North American market. A subsidiary of Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor Company, HATCI is Hyundai's design, engineering, technology, research and development headquarters for the North American market. HATCI's activities include design (body, chassis, electronics, and trim), evaluation and testing, quality improvement, and powertrain development. The company also serves the North American market needs of Hyundai affiliate Kia Motors. In addition to its Michigan headquarters, HATCI has operations in Alabama and California.
The Hyundai America Technical Center is the core research base for production and sales support in North America and is the nucleus of designing, planning, and overall development of Hyundai and KIA automobiles, ensuring they are best suited for the North American market. The Center conducts performance engineering and evaluates and recommends improvements for current and future products including vehicle foundation, interiors and exteriors (seating, consoles, HVAC, bumpers, grille, mirrors, wipers, lighting), electronics (audio, electrical, navigation), chassis, materials (metals, polymers, rubbers, coatings, fluids, fabrics), and powertrain (engines and transmissions).
In addition to the Technical Center in Michigan, Hyundai also has a 90,000 sq. ft. Design and Engineering Center in Irvine, California, which employs about 200 auto designers, engineers, model makers, and technicians. The KIA Design Studio is located in Irvine, as well. The $60 million California Proving Grounds is a 4,300-acre facility that was constructed to recreate the roads and highways across North America, in order to test the safety systems and stability control of the manufactured products.