MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's considered the largest convention ever held in Montgomery -- more than 1,500 people connected with Hyundai are in town for the automaker's annual convention.
The opening reception at Montgomery's Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center looked more like an international auto show with shiny new cars around every corner.
Securing the event was somewhat of a coup for Montgomery. Hyundai originally planned to hold its convention in Atlanta, but moved it when company officials saw Montgomery's newly redeveloped downtown.
"Atlanta would have been fine, but we've all been to Atlanta," said Hyundai dealer Scott Fink of New Port Richie, Florida. "Montgomery is very important to the Hyundai dealers. We get to see where our number 1 product is produced."
The theme of the event was "Momentum" -- something Hyundai definitely has a lot of these days.
"We're setting sales records left and right," said Hyundai marketing director, Chris Perry.
"We're going to spell out to our dealers this week our plans for the next few months on how we plan to keep that momentum going," he said.
Hyundai sold more than 400,000 units last year and this year the goal is over a half-million.
While they're in town, dealers will tour the manufacturing plant where the Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe are produced. They will also get to test drive one of dozens of Sonatas that are filling up parking lots around the convention center downtown.
Hyundai also is expected to unveil new hybrid and turbo versions of the Sonata in Montgomery this week, which should attract positive press for the city in national automotive publications.
The event lasts throughout the week.