Hyundai's Influence Still Being Felt One Year After Announcement - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

April 2, 2003

Hyundai's Influence Still Being Felt One Year After Announcement

The road to economic prosperity in Montgomery is a little brighter thanks to Hyundai Motor Manufacturing. The South Korean company announced one year ago today that Montgomery had been chosen to build its one-billion dollar plant.

In the last 12 months, Hyundai's only dealership in Montgomery added 10 new people to the payroll and that's not all; a major renovation plan is in the works for Capitol Hyundai.

"In about 2 or 3 months, we'll spend about one million dollars renovating this facility," says general manager Bob Meredith.

Kil Whitfield says Hyundai gave her the incentive to pursue a dream. She opened Seoul Korean Restaurant a few weeks ago and she has no regrets.

"I would say about 25% of our customers are Hyundai related. We also have businesses calling us catering to Hyundai in an effort to get their business," says Whitfield.

At Halcyon Elementary School in east Montgomery, there are 41 Korean children enrolled. One year ago it was a lot less.

"We only had 2 before Hyundai," says school principal Pam Morgan.

The number of Korean students at Halcyon will continue rise. Morgan says the school accepts about 2 new Korean students a month. 3 other Montgomery schools also have Korean students, but Halcyon has the most.

Another sign that things are changing in the Korean population in the capital city. Before Hyundai 100 Korean families lived here. Now that number is about 200.

Reporter: Bryan Henry

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