MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The ceremony had all the makings of Hollywood; bright lights, a big screen and then the ribbon cutting with confetti raining down. It’s the culmination of 14 months worth of construction of the new engine plant, a massive spread covering 260,000 square feet.
The engine plant is connected to the main facility on Hyundai Bouvelard.
“The entire state of Alabama is taking yet another step forward," said Gov. Kay Ivey.
Ivey applauded Hyundai’s investment of nearly $400 million in the expansion.
“When we talk about building on our successes and building momentum this is how it’s done," said Ivey.
“This latest expansion continues to demonstrate the long-term commitment between Hyundai and the entire Montgomery community. When Hyundai wins, Montgomery wins. We are so proud of Hyundai’s track record of success and stand steadfast in our continued support of HMMA. Their success cascades down into every facet of our community in a very positive way,” said Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange.
The engine plant created new jobs and the employees will manufacture what company leaders say will be a much lighter engine and far more fuel efficient for the Santa Fes and Sonatas.
“The next generation of engines for our vehicles," said Hyundai President and CEO D.R. Choi.
Those 50 new jobs have already been filled and just a few days ago those employees made their first new four cylinder engine.
“Well, it is a new four-cylinder engine that can support a Santa Fe or Sonata, but it’s turbo charged. Turbo charge recirculates the exhaust and makes the engine more efficient," said Robert Burns of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.
The grind to produce the new four cylinders is well underway and on track to produce 700,000 per year.
“This expansion is a testament of Hyundai’s ability to deliver next-generation products and services. This new project signifies a continued investment in Montgomery’s skilled tech workforce, and the Montgomery - Hyundai partnership. These advanced manufacturing job opportunities will build a diverse talent pipeline and attract and retain a skilled workforce,” said Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman Willie Durham.
Hyundai leaders say President Donald Trump’s trade war with China will have no meaningful impact on the engine plant. This is Hyundai’s single largest investment since coming to Montgomery County in 2005.