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Hyundai adds new SUV to vehicles manufactured in Montgomery

The next-generation Tucson, Hyundai’s best-selling U.S. model, will be built in Montgomery.


Hyundai announced plans Monday to expand the production lineup at its Alabama manufacturing plant to include the next-generation Tucson SUV. The Tucson is its best-selling U.S. model.

José Muñoz is the president and CEO of Hyundai Motor North America.

During a news conference in Los Angeles, Muñoz announced that the automaker is expanding the number of models it builds in the U.S. with the addition of 2022 Tucson production at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) in Montgomery, starting in 2021.

HMMA currently builds the Sonata and Elantra sedans and the Santa Fe sport utility in Montgomery. In addition to the Tucson, the all-new Santa Cruz crossover will also join the automaker’s Alabama facility next year.

“Hyundai’s decision to expand the production lineup at its Montgomery assembly plant to reflects the high level of confidence the automaker has in its talented Alabama workforce,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said. “The Tucson SUV will be another great addition to the growing list of in-demand automobiles built in Sweet Home Alabama.”

A year ago, HMMA officials announced a $410 million expansion to prepare the facility for the production of the Santa Cruz, a project that will create 200 jobs. Earlier in 2019, the company celebrated the grand opening of its new cylinder head engine plant, a $388 million investment that created 50 new jobs in Montgomery.

“The introduction of two new models to Hyundai’s Montgomery manufacturing operation beginning next year demonstrates the company’s long-term commitment to producing top-quality vehicles in Alabama,” said Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield. “We can’t wait to see the next-generation Tucson SUV and the all-new Santa Cruz crossover rolling down HMMA’s assembly lines.”

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HMMA launched vehicle production in May 2005. Today, it is the Montgomery region’s largest private manufacturer and has more than 3,000 team members.

Economic developer Nicole Jones said, “Through collaborative efforts between the public and private sector, our state has positioned itself as a national and world leader the automotive industry. Since opening in the Montgomery area in 2005, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA), has produced over 4.75 million vehicles and 6 million engines. The plant employs approximately 3,500 Alabamians educated from a high school diploma to the doctoral level. HMMA sits on approximately 1,744 acres of land and encompasses 3.4 million square feet of space. Hyundai follows the just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing model, cross-trains workers, employs a variety of amenities to retain employees, and emphasizes community engagement. Thank you to the team at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama for your continued contributions to our state and national economies.”

Since it opened, the Alabama plant has produced 4.75 million vehicles for the North American market, along with more than 6 million engines.

Montgomery officials welcomed Hyundai’s decision to expand its production lineup at the Alabama plant.

“Hyundai’s decision to build the Tucson in Montgomery is indicative of their belief in the performance and expertise of our HMMA team,” said Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed. “It allows Hyundai to quickly adapt to consumer preferences and demonstrates the long-term commitment between Hyundai and the Montgomery community. We are proud of Hyundai’s track record of success and stand steadfast in our continued support of HMMA.”

Automobile manufacturing has become a major contributor to the Alabama economy. With the new Mazda Toyota assembly plant being built in Limestone County and the Mercedes battery plant in Bibb County, that economic impact is only going to continue to grow.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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