Montgomery to lose Santa Fe production

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama is confirming that production of the popular Santa Fe SUV vehicle will move from Montgomery to the company's West Point, Georgia Kia plant.

Several South Korean media outlets have reported that Hyundai will move production of the company's Elantra hybrid to the Montgomery plant, but Hyundai has so far declined to confirm that move.

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue issued the following statement:

"The seeds that were first planted on our initial trip to Korea in 2003 continue to bear new fruit today.  Production of the company's best-selling vehicle, the Kia Sorento, created thousands of jobs in West Georgia, and now the addition of the Hyundai Santa Fe will create additional jobs and investment. We knew this would be a strong partnership, and all the credit should go to the employees in West Point who made the plant a success. Georgia's skilled workforce, business-friendly environment and strategic location are paying dividends for advanced, high-tech manufacturers such as KMMG."

Hyundai spokesman Chris Hosford said Tuesday the move will boost production capacity at the company's Montgomery plant to build its popular Sonata.

It will add about 700 employees at Kia's West Point, Ga. plant, bringing the total to 1,900. Suppliers and other support companies in the area are also expected to add jobs. There will be no change in staffing at the Alabama plant.

Kia says production of the Santa Fe will begin next month at the Georgia plant and ramp up on Oct. 1 with the addition of a second shift. Kia also builds its Sorrento SUV at the plant.

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