SUVs Biggest Boost to Hyundai’s Alabama Production Gain in 2019

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama’s plant in Montgomery produced 336,000 vehicles in 2019, approximately 4 percent more than in 2018.

HMMA said the primary contributor to the increase was producing more Sante Fe SUVs, as consumers seem to be preferring sport utility vehicles. The 2020 Sante Fe has a bold design, can hold up to five passengers and has innovative safety and technology features. It recently has received the 2020 Best Buy Award from Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com.

HMMA also currently produces the Sonata and Elantra sedans. Hyundai recently redesigned the Sonata to include improvements in safety, technology, performance and fuel efficiency, as well as give the vehicle a sportier look.

“We are optimistic the 2020 Sonata will draw more consumers who want to purchase a midsize sedan to the Hyundai brand in 2020,” said Robert Burns, HMMA spokesman.

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The plant also is adding to its lineup starting in 2021. In November 2019, Hyundai announced a $410 million expansion project to support the addition of the Santa Cruz compact utility vehicle being produced in Montgomery. The expansion will include additional space in the stamping, welding and parts processing areas of the manufacturing complex. In addition, the plant will add 200 jobs, and it is predicted that local suppliers and logistic companies that support HMMA will add close to 1,000 jobs.

When the announcement was made, Byungjin Jin, president and CEO of HMMA, said, “Bringing the Santa Cruz to HMMA demonstrates that Hyundai Motor Company is confident our more than 3,000 team members are ready to build a quality crossover for the U.S. market.”

Hyundai started production in Montgomery, in May 2005. The plant sits on 1,744 acres and includes a stamping facility, paint shop, vehicle assembly shop, a two-mile test track and two engine shops.

For more information on Hyundai and other automotive companies in Alabama, look for Business Alabama’s February issue.

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