If you spend $52 million to rig a factory for building a new model — going so far as to organize a homecoming parade with a brass band and cheerleaders — you naturally want some big victories later on the schedule.
Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama got that and more last year when it refitted the Montgomery plant to once again produce the Sante Fe Sport model, which for a time had left the building for Georgia. Market demand for bigger, more versatile vehicles convinced Hyundai to put the Santa Fe back in Montgomery and the plant now churns out Sonatas, Elantras and Santa Fe Sports on the same line.
Company executives in January announced the plant had produced a near-record 379, 021 vehicles in 2016, down slightly from 2015’s 384, 500-vehicle total. The 2016 total includes 168, 919 Sonatas, 173, 926 Elantras and 36, 176 Santa Fe Sports, officials said.
As for the homecoming parade, it featured HMMA’s leadership team along with Sidney Lanier High School cheerleaders and Jefferson Davis High School band members. “Thanks to the amazing support of Jeff Davis and Sidney Lanier high schools, we were able to bring a new level of excitement and show our Hyundai spirit in a unique and entertaining way, ” said Chris Susock, vice president – production.
Text by Dave Helms