Hyundai; A Long Time Coming

The grand opening of the Hyundai Plant in Montgomery was a project that took years of hard work.

It all dates back to 2002 when the company announced it would build its plant in the heart of Alabama. Alabama was chosen over 60 other possible sites for Hyundai's first assembly plant in the United States.

At one point it came down to Kentucky and Alabama. Once Hyundai selected Alabama picking the precise location came down to Opelika or Montgomery.

It's been more than three years since the groundbreaking ceremony in south Montgomery in April 2002. But the task of convincing Hyundai to open it's first U.S. Manufacturing plant in Montgomery started long before that.

Former governor Don Siegelman was instrumental in negotiating the deal with Hyundai chairman Mong Koo Chung. The two signed the deal in the governors office April 15th 2002.

A deal that set in motion a whirlwind of planning leading up to Friday's spectacular grand opening ceremony. It took a total of 40 construction companies to build the enormous two-million square foot facility.

Hyundai's commitment to hire within Alabama first brought about an overwhelming response when the company began taking applications. Now some 2-thousand highly paid Hyundai employees proudly work together to assemble the Hyundai Sonata sedan. Soon, production will begin on the Santa Fe sport utility vehicle.

It's estimated that Hyundai related jobs will generate $280 million dollars in added income and $90 million dollars in additional retail sales.