Daily Archives: February 22, 2007

Hyundai Achievs Certification To Automotive Management Standard

Hyundai Achieves Certification To Automotive Management Standard

Award Winning Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama Plant Adds Global Automotive Industry Certification To Its Already Impressive Resume

Montgomery, Ala., 02/21/2007 Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLC (HMMA) has achieved Certification to the International Automotive Task Force's (IATF) most rigid quality management standard, ISO/TS 16949, a set of Quality Management System requirements specific to the automotive industry. ISO/TS 16949 is the highest automotive operating standard in the world.

Hyundai's $1.1-billion assembly plant, which began production on May 20, 2005, is one of the most technologically-sophisticated automotive manufacturing facilities in the world.

J.D. Power and Associates ranked HMMA tenth out of 73 plants in North/South America in initial quality in 2006, after less than one full year of production. HMMA's 2800 team members produce the Hyundai Sonata sedan and Santa Fe crossover SUV.

"Before job one ever rolled off the assembly line, we committed ourselves to leading the industry in business management processes," said John Kalson, Director of Production, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. "We believe that quality vehicles start with quality manufacturing, and we're proud to deliver both at HMMA."

HMMA initiated the evaluation process for ISO/TS 16949;2002 certification in the summer of 2004, shortly before the 2-million square-foot plant opened for business. The two-year process began with a performance evaluation of current HMMA systems versus TS 16949 requirements. Once the evaluation was complete, HMMA Team members and a consulting team from SAI Global refined the systems, satisfying the TS requirements but also ensuring total vehicle quality. Never being satisfied, HMMA members are continually looking for ways to improve work processes.

"We're very excited that Hyundai has taken this initiative to ensure the highest OEM manufacturing quality standards are met," said Rob Brayfield, President, of VCA North America, "Hyundai's commitment to continually improving quality and customer satisfaction will no doubt raise the bar for the industry."

Benefits of adopting the ISO/TS 16949 standard include improving quality of processes at the facility along with streamlining supply chains, both leading to a better overall product.

About HMMA

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, headquartered in Montgomery, Ala., is an independent manufacturing operation of Hyundai Motor Company, based in Seoul, Korea. HMMA currently produces the Sonata sedan and the next generation 2007 Santa Fe sport utility vehicle. At full capacity, HMMA will produce 300,000 vehicles annually. Hyundai cars and sport utility vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced by more than 755 Hyundai dealerships.

2007 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited All-Wheel Drive Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicle

2007 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited All-Wheel Drive Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicle

Shy on power but nicely appointed and constructed


The Hyundai Santa Fe is largest SUV in the company's product line. The redesign added 3" to the width and 7" to the length. The additional length was important to the addition of the optional 3rd row of seating for 7-passenger capacity. And it gives the truck lots for room for the passengers and cargo.

Three versions are available, the GLS, SE and Limited. It comes standard with front-wheel drive and lots of other great features, particularly safety. All-Wheel Drive (AWD) is optional, and comes with a locking 50/50 power split. No low-range gears are offered. So while it isn't a real off-road vehicle, the AWD system helps in bad weather.

The build quality is noteworthy given Hyundai's reputation. And they have that great warrantee – 5/60,000 bumper-to-bumper, 10/10,000 for the powertrain, 7/unlimited for corrosion - and free roadside assistance for 5 years.

Pros: Well priced in the class. Santa Fe has a roomy interior for 5 and the optional 3rd row seat allows 7 passengers. We like the simplicity of the controls and dash layout. The build quality is improved over the original product.

Cons: Santa Fe with 3 rows of seats is cramped making getting in and out difficult and uncomfortable for drives over 15 minutes. The V6 engine lacks power making merging into traffic on the highway nerve wracking.

MSRP: $20,945 - $27,945

Invoice: $19,689 - $25,710

Vehicle Price As Tested (including $650 destination charge): $28,040.00

Class: Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicle

EPA Mileage (city/highway): 19/24

Tested Mileage (city/highway): 17/21

Where Built: Alabama, USA

Fuel Capacity: 19.8 gallons

Options: Power sunroof, power front-passenger seat, and cargo tray.


  • Dodge Nitro
  • Ford Edge
  • Ford Explorer
  • Ford Freestyle
  • GMC Acadia
  • Honda Pilot
  • Mazda CX-7
  • Mazda CX-9
  • Nissan Murano
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Saturn Outlook
  • Suzuki XL-7
  • Toyota FJ Cruiser


Very little has changed on the Santa Fe from its predecessors. It is still a body-on-frame design that is now 3" wider and 7" longer. It is a nice looking vehicle that is both attractive and practical. It doesn't have the best styling in the class, but it is by-no-means the worst.

Of note is the improvement in the build quality. Hyundais were not known for tight fit and finish until the most recent models. And the improvement is apparent on Santa Fe.

Rear visibility is somewhat hampered by the exterior styling, making backing up more work than necessary. Using the mirrors becomes critical when changing lanes on the highway.


Santa Fe's interior is quiet despite the loud engine. This makes for a pleasant ride around town. However the wind noise is noticeable at highway speeds.

The SUV seats 5, with an optional Touring package that provides a 50/50 split 3rd row bench seat to carry 7 passengers. The larger configuration makes access to the 3rd row quite difficult and it is recommended only for small children, and short trips. Otherwise the head and legroom are excellent.

The interior materials are quite nice when compared to the competition. Fabric seats are standard, and leather is optional, as are heated front seats. The plastic components, handles, knobs and levers all feel solid, not cheap. The dash board layout is convenient, easy to use and read, and nicely lighted. Everything in the interior is soft-touch, and fully powered. It even comes with a remote keyless entry at this price, and all versions come standard with a tilting and telescoping steering wheel. This features makes finding a comfortable seating position easy for almost everyone regardless of size and height.

The 5-passenger configuration provides ample cargo space. That space is nearly eliminated when the 3rd row if seating is employed. That said, that’s a problem for all SUVs with 3 rows of seating.


The only engine Santa Fe has is a V6. In the GLS the 2.7 liter engine puts out 185 hp. On the SE and the Limited that we had the engine is a 3.3 liter, Dual Overhead Cam, 24-valve, V6 that generates 242 hp. The 180-hp version of the engine is not recommended as it doesn't provide enough acceleration to merge into high-speed traffic on the highway. And going up steep grades was scary given the loss of power. But the 242 hp version is peppy, fun to drive and eliminates the uneasy feeling one gets with the underpowered version of the engine.

A manual transmission is standard on the GLS, with option for a 4-speed automatic. Both the SE and the Limited come standard with a 5-speed automatic transmission.

Ride and Handling

On the highway Santa Fe is competent and comfortable. But on a dirt road, off-road (which it really isn’t designed to handle) or on bad pavement, the ride is bumpy and wobbly. Hitting a big pothole can make the vehicle feel like it will tip over.

Steering is pleasant and accurate. It isn't a sports car, but as a daily driver it is enjoyable. The Limited comes with 18" alloy wheels with P235/60R-18 tires.


Santa Fe Limited comes standard with 6 airbags, two advanced bags in the front, front seat-mounted side-impact bags, and two roof-mounted side curtain airbags. Both an antilock braking system and traction control are standard, which is a good value in a vehicle at this price point. Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and front seat active head restraints are also standard, as is a tire pressure monitoring system.

Taken from Woman Motorist.