Hyundai Plant to Provide Jobs

The Hyundai Motor Corporation has decided its new $1-billion auto production plant will be built just south of Montgomery off Interstate 65. The news was first announced by Kentucky Governor Paul Patton and was shortly thereafter confirmed by Governor Don Siegelman. 

The plant is expected to bring approximately 2,000 direct jobs to the area and provide, according to Governor Siegelman, as many as 15,000 "spin-off" jobs.  The plant is not scheduled to open until 2005, however, construction jobs may be available early on through Alabama contractors who will hopefully be given the opportunity to build the plant.

Governor Siegelman says the jobs created will be "high paying, good jobs," and Tuesday morning it was announced that the Alabama Industrial Development Training, which specializes in workforce recruitment and development, will assist Hyundai in recruiting and training potential employees for the new plant.

As soon as the leaders of A.I.D.T. meet with company officials to finalize the skills, education, experience, and other qualifications Hyundai is looking for, then they will start recruiting for the jobs. Recruiting ads will be published throughout the state and posted on the Alabama Employment Service web site . The ads will describe the application process in detail.

Guidelines Already In Place Include: No application requests before the advertisement is made will be considered. No applications will be accepted by certified mail or return receipt mail. No requests delivered in person, or by phone at any Alabama State Employment Service Office, A.I.D.T. or Hyundai will be accepted.

Hyundai has had difficulty in labor relations with Korean workers, where strikes in November and December of 2001 put the company behind in meeting the increasing demands for its vehicles. In fact, Korean auto workers were on strike Monday.

The Alabama legislature has already approved $118 million in bonds to finance worker training and other incentives.

Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright says land owners will be notified immediately of the city's intent to exercise its option on the land. The mayor says it will cost the city $8 to $10-million to purchase the 1600 acres of land the plant will sit on. The total cost of funding the entire project is still yet to be determined, but the city and county together have plans to float a combined $25-million in bonds to cover the costs.

Site preparation will begin immediately and the city has a deadline of September 15th to complete most of the preparatory work.

Alabama officials made their last offer to Hyundai at approximately 2:30 p.m. Monday afternoon. Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright says negotiations were being conducted throughout the morning, negotiations which had been ongoing for 11 months.

A call came Monday morning from Hyundai to the mayor concerning police and fire protection in the Hope Hull area. Hope Hull is in the Montgomery police jurisdiction, but Hyundai seemingly wants more police and fire protection extended to the plant's new location.

"I think what they were requesting went to quality of services more than anything else...and we probably are providing better police and fire than what they were expecting. When you go to a small city like what they are considering in Kentucky, there's no way that a small city or a small community like that can provide the services we have on a day to day basis here in the city of Montgomery," said the mayor.

Initially 60 sites were in the competition for the new plant before the choice was narrowed to Hope Hull and Glendale, Kentucky. The plant most likely will produce Hyundai's Santa Fe sport utility vehicle and Sonata sedan, but final details have not been released. The manufacturer hopes to produce 300,000 cars annually by 2005.

Hyundai expects to sell a total of 1.68 million cars in 2002, 6 percent more than it sold in 2001. Overseas sales are expected to rise 8.6 percent to 937,000 units. Last year, the automaker sold a record 1.59 million cars as it expanded market share in the U.S.

The automaker and affiliate Kia Motors Corp. sold a combined 569,956 vehicles in the U.S. in 2001, a 41 percent increase from 2000.

Some facts about Hyundai

Date of Establishment - December 29, 1967

Company Motto - Diligence, Frugality, Love

Management Policy - Trust-based management, Site-intensive management, Transparent management

Company Vision for the 21st Century - World-Class Automobile Company, Company Providing Hope of Life to Hyundai Workers, Company Winning Reliability in the World Market.

Number of Employees - 50,000