For more than three decades, Irvine has been the center of gravity for Southern California’s burgeoning auto industry. Today, it plays an outsized role in incubating the technologies that will drive mobility into the future.
1987: Mazda opens its North American headquarters in Irvine Spectrum District.
1989: Debut of the Mazda Miata, designed in Irvine and the bestselling sports car of all time.
2001: Ford opens the global headquarters for its high-end brands, including Aston Martin and Jaguar, in Irvine.
2003: Hyundai opens a new $30 million design and technical center in Irvine, focused on designing American cars, including the Sonata.
2008: Kia opens a 22‑acre, $130 million campus in Irvine to design vehicles for the North American market.
2017: Mazda celebrates the grand opening of its new North American headquarters at 200 Spectrum Center Drive.
2019: Road & Track names the Lincoln Aviator, designed in Irvine, the “best American luxury car in a generation.”
2021: Rivian, maker of the first electric truck, opens its headquarters in Irvine due to “access to talent, off-road driving and the beach.”
2022: Michelle Christensen, the first woman to design a supercar, joins Karma Automotive in Irvine – makers of the Revero, an ultraluxury EV.
2023: Looking to the future, Hyundai’s air-taxi division prepares for its first test flight this year.