Following are some of the comments made by Governor Don Siegelman at Tuesday's groundbreaking ceremony for the new Hyundai plant south of Montgomery.
"We're going to teach Alabama and the rest of the world to speak Korean, and you start with one word - Hyundai.
Chairman Chung, President Kim, other distinguished guests. Last November, I took my Thanksgiving holiday to travel to Korea to meet Chairman Chung, President Kim and others. I crossed the world's largest ocean, travelled some 16,000 miles. The trip, to and from, took about 16 hours. That was five months ago. Today, miles and oceans no longer separate Alabama and Korea. Today, Alabama and Hyundai are united: united as neighbors, united as friends, united as partners, united by one quest - to build the finest Hyundai automobile, of the highest quality, for the world and Alabama will do it. It will be done right here in the state of Alabama.
Just 3.5 years ago, world business leaders would not have believed that Alabama would be at the top of the list of every automotive manufacturer in the world. But today, world business leaders have now been enlightened,- enlightened with what Hyundai and others have learned - that Alabama is simply a great place to do business, that in Alabama you have the greatest workers on the face of the earth, workers who are committed to quality, workers who are committed to excellence. You find Alabamians trained, prepared, and ready to do the jobs of the 21st century. You find Alabamians committed to a better future for themselves, their families, and for this great state and today, today you find the new home of Hyundai.
Chairman Chung wants to build the greatest automobile in the world and I want to build the greatest state, and together we will achieve both.
Hyundai brings a billion dollar investment to Alabama. Hyundai brings 2000 jobs. Hyundai brings opportunity and it will bring thousands upon thousands of high paying jobs. From Alexander City to Phenix City, from Auburn to Dothan, from Brewton to the Black Belt, from Clanton to Selma, from Greenville and Centreville to Monroeville and Andalusia to Enterprise, and all across this great state, Hyundai brings hope. And you can't put a price on that.
Together we gather upon this beautiful place to break new ground. A simple but symbolic task, because tomorrow we will begin to build a plant here. Tomorrow we will begin to build jobs here and then cars and then dreams and then futures.
All of that built right here for Alabamians, by Alabamians. And make no mistake, make no mistake; when we break that ground, the crunching sound will be heard from Atlanta to Detroit. This nation, this nation will take notice and the world will understand that Alabama has staked its claim as a leader in the world of business.
You know not long ago world business leaders couldn't find Alabama on a map. Well today, world business leaders know where Alabama is.World business leaders know where Vance, Alabama is. World business leaders know where Lincoln, Alabama is. World business leaders know where Huntsville, Alabama is. And after today, you better believe that they're going to know where Montgomery, Alabama is.