Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) announced the Santa Cruz compact utility vehicle will join the Santa Fe SUV and the Sonata and Elantra sedans at Hyundai’s U.S. automotive assembly plant in Montgomery, starting in 2021. The Santa Cruz was first introduced as a concept at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The plant will require a $410 million expansion to support the addition of the vehicle. This includes additional space in the stamping, welding and parts processing areas of the manufacturing complex. Direct employment will increase by 200 jobs and local suppliers and logistics companies who support HMMA are projected to employ an additional 1,000 people in Montgomery and the River Region.
“Bringing the Santa Cruz to HMMA demonstrates that Hyundai Motor Company is confident our more than 3,000 Team Members are ready to build a quality crossover for the U.S. market,” said Byungjin Jin, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.
Santa Cruz is for those who want all the traditional attributes of a compact utility vehicle, but need the day-to-day versatility of an open bed. It’s the crossover that creates a whole new segment that successfully combines capability and utility to meet the unspoken needs of a new generation of buyers, especially Millennials.
“Alabama and Hyundai have developed a great partnership over the years, and it’s a testament to our special relationship that this world-class automaker is expanding once again in Montgomery,” Governor Ivey said. “Hyundai’s new investment is giving more Alabama families an opportunity to earn a good living while also strengthening the state’s growing auto industry.”
“I recently had the honor of experiencing first-hand the long-standing partnership between Hyundai and Montgomery on a visit to Seoul as part of an economic development delegation including former Mayor Todd Strange,” said Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed. “With the addition of the Santa Cruz, Hyundai is again choosing to launch a new vision. I look forward to continuing to strengthen this vital relationship in the coming years and working with our partners to support this tremendous investment.”
HMMA, which started vehicle production in May 2005, is the River Region’s largest private manufacturer with 2,900 full-time and 500 part-time employees. In 14 and one-half years the plant has produced 4.5 million vehicles for the North American market.
“Our commitment to our partnership with Hyundai continues to deepen, and we are so honored by this significant investment,” said Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean. “Together, we are charting the course for success and opportunity in the River Region.”
Among U.S. states, Alabama is already the fifth largest producer of cars and light trucks. The state has more than 150 major auto suppliers and 57,000 automotive manufacturing jobs.
“We are so honored that in just 18 months HMMA has invested over $1.1 billion in the Montgomery area,” said Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman Willie Durham. “Partnership and teamwork are key to this kind of economic growth and we are grateful for the impact this kind of investment will have on the entire region.”