New car co. takes steps towards $1.5 Billion Ala. plant

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Under colorful lights with dramatic music thundering above, H-K Motors pulled the cover off its concept car, a sporty sleek-looking 'Quaranta', a supercar powered by a hybrid system with top speeds of 150 miles an hour or more.

Not only that but the driver's seat is in the middle. Governor Bob Riley and a company official were able to stand up in the car.

"Natural gas is its primary fuel and a batter to assist it," said Charles Huang, Vice Chairman of H-K Motors.

Amenities aside, the company would actually make 10 hybrid models including family sedans and SUVs. The Quaranta was unveiled to show off the styling philosophy by the Italdesign-Giugiaro Company based in Italy.

Before the unveiling H-K Motors inked a deal with Italdesign-Giugiaro to style and design the hybrid vehicles.  Still unclear is *when* H-K Motors may begin building its Alabama plant in Baldwin County. WSFA 12 News has learned H-K Motors has raised some money but not enough to get started.

The Director of the Alabama Development Office says he's not worried.

"We (state) have not offered any incentives because at this point we can't get our arms around the project. I have a good feeling about it, not 100% but I have a good feeling about it," said Neal Wade.

The Governor feels the same way despite reports the chairman of H-K Motors.. Yung Yeung..  has been exiled from China.

"I am not concerned about this issue. You know, China has gone from a tight, controlled economy to an aggressive one and sometimes during that transition there is a point of tension," said Governor Bob Riley who declined to go into detail on the explanation Chairman Yeung about his situation with China.

If all goes well, H-K Motors will initially hire around 3,500 people and depending on the incentive the state offers, H-K Motors could be required to pay a minimum of $15 an hour.

For H-K Motors the process seems to be one step-at-a-time but gaining speed along the way.

While no construction date has been mentioned, company officials do hope to start production by 2013.

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