We’ve written extensively about the Hyundai Sonata and its capabilities on this blog. Today we’re going to look at where the Sonata is made. This seems to be a straightforward question, but this car consists of many components (engine, transmission, tires, etc.) made in different parts of the world. Let’s start with a quick answer:
The current eighth generation of the American Hyundai Sonata is assembled in Montgomery, Alabama. The Smartstream engines are made at the same plant. The transmissions for the Sonata are made in West Point, Georgia, or Southfield, Michigan.
However, that certainly doesn’t answer the question entirely. Below, we’ll first dive into detail about the assembly location. After, that we’ll give you the complete rundown of where the engines are made, and we’ll do the same for all transmissions used in this vehicle. Finally, we’ll talk about how to identify which tires you have and where they are manufactured precisely. Read on!
Assembly Locations Per Generation
The first and second generations of the Hyundai Sonata were assembled in Ulsan, South Korea, since this is the place where Hyundai has its headquarters. The third-generation assembly still took place in Ulsan but also in Asan, South Korea. Also, assembly was expanded to Gaborone, Botswana.
The fourth generation of the Hyundai Sonata was the first generation that took assembly to an international level. The Sonata was assembled in Asan, South Korea; Gaborone, Botswana; Chennai, India; Cairo, Egypt; Beijing, China; and Taganrog, Russia.
The fifth generation of the Sonata was the first generation that was assembled in Montgomery, Alabama, for the American market. Other assembly locations still included Asan, South Korea; Chennai, India; Beijing, China; and Cairo, Egypt. New locations included Izmit, Turkey; Samut Prakan, Thailand; and Al Jazirah State, Sudan.
For the sixth generation of the Sonata, Hyundai scaled back the assembly locations. This generation was manufactured in Montgomery, Alabama; Asan, South Korea; and Beijing, China. These assembly locations stayed the same for the seventh generation, although Kaliningrad, Russia, was added to the list.
The current and eighth generation of the Sonata is assembled in Montgomery, Alabama; Asan, South Korea; Beijing, China; and Faisalabad, Pakistan.
Want to know more about where this Hyundai is made? And where the technology, software, body parts and headlights are made? Check out this article where we take an in-depth look at Hyundai: This Is Where Hyundai Cars Are Made
The first, second, and third-generation used Sirius engines, whereas the second and third generations also used Sigma engines. Sirius engines were licensed from Mitsubishi. It’s unclear whether Hyundai built those themselves (which would have likely happened in Ulsan or Asan, South Korea) or that they were built by Mitsubishi, which would have occurred in Shiga, Japan, and Shenyang, China. Hyundai made the Sigma engines in Ulsan or Asan, South Korea.
The fourth generation of the Sonata used Beta II, Sirius II, and Delta V6 engines. The Beta II engines were made in Ulsan, South Korea. The Delta V6 engines were made in Asan, South Korea, and Shandong, China. The Sirius II engine was licensed from Mitsubishi (again, made by Hyundai or Mitsubishi, this is unclear).
The fifth-generation used Theta, Theta II, and Lambda engines manufactured at the Montgomery location in Alabama. Also, this generation used a 2.0 D (diesel) engine made in Ulsan, South Korea.
The sixth and seventh generations of the Sonata used several different engines. These include Gamma, Nu, Theta II, and U II (diesel) engines. We know that Gamma, NU, and Theta II engines were made at the Montgomery location in Alabama. The U II diesel engine was manufactured at the Žilina Kia factory in Žilina, Slovakia.
The eighth generation of the Sonata exclusively makes use of Smartstream engines. These engines are manufactured at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Plant in Montgomery, Alabama. Hyundai has been manufacturing Smartstream engines at this plant since 2019 for the Sonata and the Sante Fe. Besides the assembly of Hyundais, this plant is also responsible for the production of 700,000 Hyundai engines per year.
For the first four generations, transmissions were likely made in Ulsan, South Korea. This is because Hyundai’s main headquarters have been known to make transmissions at this location since the beginning.
The fifth generation of the Hyundai Sonata was the first generation that was also manufactured in Montgomery, Alabama, for the American market. Hyundai TRANSYS, therefore, makes the transmission for this particular generation. TRANSYS is a merger of Hyundai Powertech and Hyundai DYMOS. These subsidiaries of Hyundai have been making transmissions for Hyundai since 2001. Hyundai TRANSYS has multiple locations worldwide, but the prominent manufacturing locations are in West Point, Georgia; Southfield, Michigan and Rizhao City, Shandong, China.
Unfortunately, Hyundai has no information available about what brand of tires come stock on the Sonata. Therefore, it’s impossible to give information about this. However, there is a way to figure this out yourself.
Suppose you want to know exactly where the tires of your Hyundai Sonata are made, then you can look up the DOT code on the side of your tires. This code is not that large, so you’ll have to take a moment to find it. It’s an extended code of letters and numbers that starts with the letters ‘DOT’. DOT stands for Department Of Transportation.
After the DOT letters, you’ll find a combination of three letters, numbers, or a mix. You can search on the internet for the specific three number/letter combination you have to find the exact manufacturer and location where the tires are made. For example, ‘1M3’. In this case, 1M3 indicates Michelin makes the tire in Greenville, South Carolina.
Who Designed The Sonata?
Below we’ve outlined who was responsible for the design of the last three generations of the Sonata. For previous generations, it’s sometimes unclear who was responsible, or there is very little information about these designers to be found.
The sixth generation of the Sonata was designed by Andre Hudson, who was a design manager at Hyundai between 2005 – 2017. Before that, he was a Creative Designer at General Motors from 1998 – 2005. The seventh generation of the Hyundai Sonata was designed by Taehoon Kim who has been with Hyundai since 2004 and is currently a Senior Designer.
A team of designers designed the eighth generation of the Hyundai Sonata. These include:
- Luc Donckerwolke (Chief Creative Officer and Head Design Communications)
- Sang Yup Lee (Head of Hyundai Global Design Center and a Senior Vice President at Hyundai Motor Company)
- Ji Heon Lee (Lead Researcher at Hyundai)
- Kevin Kang (Senior Design Manager, Interior at Hyundai)
- Song Hyun (Chief Designer, Interior at Hyundai)
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