J.L. French Gets Hyundai Contract

Production of V6 aluminum blocks will begin next year


J.L. French Automotive Castings has earned a supply contract from Hyundai Motor Co. L.L.C., to supply a new V6 engine block. The blocks will be cast at J.L. French’s Sheboygan plant, and delivered to Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. Following development work, J.L. French indicates, manufacturing will begin in 2009 and full-production will be reached in 2010.

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA), is Hyundai's first U.S. assembly and manufacturing plant, and produces the Sonata sedan and Santa Fe SUV. Open since 2005, the Birmingham plant has stamping, welding, painting, general assembly, and engine manufacturing operations. Cast blocks, heads, and crankshafts are delivered there, and machined, and assembled on site.

J.L. French is a high-pressure diecasting organization that specializes in automotive castings, including oil pans, engine front covers, engine blocks, and transmissions cases. In addition to its Sheboygan plant it has manufacturing operations in Glasgow, KY, and Ansola, Spain, and a joint-venture plant in Chongqing, China.

The company states its high-pressure diecasting technology has enhanced its reputation for producing engine blocks since 2003 when it began supplying a 2.0/2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder block for the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance, a partnership of DaimlerChrysler (now Chrysler Corp.), Mitsubishi Motors, and Hyundai.

Since then, J.L. French has begun supplying a six-cylinder engine to Ford Motor Co.

“This is a significant piece of new business for us with a very important new customer,” stated J.L. French chairman, president, and CEO Jack Falcon.

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