Dongwon to add #036;1.8 million addition to its facility

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 9, 2006

Dongwon Autopart Technology Alabama, LLC, in Luverne has just begun breaking ground this week for the Phase Three project which includes an approximately 45,000 square foot addition that will be located directly behind the existing plant.

The current completion date for the Phase Three project is set for Dec. 2006.

&#8220This new building will be for receiving and for warehousing purposes,” Mendy Reigel, Dongwon Alabama Human Resources Manager, said. &#8220This next phase will cost approximately $1.8 million.”

All of the machinery and finished goods will remain in the existing plant. The entire operation sits on a 30-acre site.

Charlie (Jung Kwon) Kim is president of Dongwon Alabama, LLC, and has been with the facility since its inception in August of 2003.

Reigel praised Dongwon President Kim for much of the success of the facility.

&#8220He's very dedicated to this company and to the people who work here,” she said.

Dongwon is located at 12970 Montgomery Highway in Luverne.

The Tier-one Hyundai supplier began site preparation in Oct. of 2003. The original building is 35,000 square feet. By Nov. of 2005, the second phase of construction was completed with another 35,000 square-foot addition.

According to Reigel, the initial phase cost $3.5 million, while the second phase cost $1.5 million. With this third addition, that will bring the total cost for the buildings alone to $7 million.

There is a total of $17.3 million invested in American dollars from Korea in the Dongwon Alabama facility, which includes the building costs, plus $11.5 million for machinery and equipment.

&#8220We originally intended to hire 107 employees when we first began,” Reigel said. &#8220We now have 152 employees and plan to bring on 30 to 40 more employees between now and December.”

Reigel said that the interviewing process for new hires was already underway.

Dongwon makes door frames, roof molding, side absorbers and side impact beams for the Hyundai Sonata, and door frames, weather stripping frames, console brackets and side impact beams for the Sante Fe.