A second plant for Hyundai?

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email


More than anyone Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange knows the effort it takes to beat out other states and land a company like Hyundai. When Alabama sealed the deal with a Hyundai a few years ago, Don Siegelman was governor and Strange was the director of the Alabama Economic Development Office.

"We anticipate in the next week or two to have a conversation with the senior leadership at Hyundai and to explain to them eye-to-eye that we desire to have that expansion here in Montgomery, Alabama," said Mayor Strange.

Some facts as we know them now; Hyundai has not made a decision whether to expand. States like Florida could join the mix if the company decides to add a plant.

Neal Wade who succeeded Strange as the state's economic development director is now with a private real estate development company in Florida. Wade also works with the Florida governor on economic projects.

"We want to do what's best for Hyundai," said Wade.

Wade told WSFA 12 News by phone that much like leaders in Montgomery, Florida has also had discussions with the car company.

"We've already had discussions with the private and public sector about how we can position northwest Florida in competition for this plant," Wade said.

Winning over a company such as Hyundai is a very competitive battle but this time it could be more difficult regardless of who joins the bidding process.

For the current production plant in South Montgomery County, Alabama offered Hyundai $253 million dollars in tax incentives, cash, job training and infrastructure.

Today, it's a different ball game considering the economy.

"This is a very tough time right now from an economic standpoint. This will be an interesting situation to see what kind of package the states put together if Hyundai chooses to open up the process," said Wade.

A lot of uncertainties but those in the thick of it are certain about this; a decision by Hyundai could come in about a year.

For now Hyundai Motor Manufacturing in Montgomery is doing very well. They employ 2,500 people who built 300,000 vehicles last year alone.

©2010 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.