SEOUL -- The big global engine project between Hyundai Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler AG and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. looks like the companies last joint project.
If we can find any win-win projects, maybe. So far we couldnt find any, says Lee Hyun Soon, senior executive vice president in charge of powertrains at Hyundai.
Under the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance, the three companies are to produce a common four-cylinder engine design at their plants in South Korea, Dundee, Mich., and Japan. Once the plants reach full production, the combined volume is expected to reach 1.8 million units a year. The engine comes in three sizes: 1.8, 2.0 and 2.4 liters.
The four-cylinder engine for the U.S.-built Hyundai Sonata will be supplied from Korea. Salable production in the Montgomery, Ala., plant started in April.
Hyundai contributed the engine design and has been producing it in Korea for two years. Hyundai engineers are helping get the Chrysler group plant in Michigan on line, Lee says.
A key benefit of the alliance is the use of common components and suppliers in order to achieve big cost savings.
DaimlerChrysler and Hyundai once had a closer relationship, with the German company holding a 10.5 percent stake in Hyundai. But DaimlerChrysler sold the stake last year.
You may e-mail Norman Thorpe at