By Jerry Underwood
Hyundai announced plans to invest $290 million in upgrades at its Montgomery assembly plant as the facility prepares to build the next-generation Santa Fe sport utility.
Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) officials announced the automaker’s investment plans at a ceremony at the plant, where they were joined by Governor Kay Ivey, Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield and local leaders.
As part of the project, HMMA will spend $190 million to retool and upgrade the plant’s production line for the fifth-generation Santa Fe SUV, while the additional investment will support production of other vehicles.
“Today, the legacy of the Santa Fe continues with HMMA investing $190 million dollars to prepare our assembly plant for the next generation of this popular SUV,” HMMA President and CEO Ernie Kim said at today’s announcement.
“An additional $100 million dollars will be invested to support ongoing production of the Tucson SUV and Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle.”
HMMA first began assembling the Santa Fe in 2006, and this will be the first full model change since 2018.
The all-new Santa Fe features a bold exterior design, enlarged tailgate and cabin, a more refined interior with sustainable materials, and a variety of high-tech features including a 12.3-inch Panoramic Curved Display.
When assembly begins later this year, the all-new Santa Fe will join the Tucson, the Santa Cruz, and both the electrified and gas versions of the Genesis GV70 luxury SUV on HMMA’s assembly line.
“Hyundai’s nearly 4,000 Alabama employees have been making some of the highest awarded vehicles in America for nearly two decades, and the production of the completely re-designed Santa Fe mid-size SUV is another exciting milestone for the company’s Montgomery manufacturing facility,” Governor Ivey said.
“I can’t wait to see the exciting new design on roads in Alabama and across the nation,” she added.
Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed said HMMA is a “vital economic engine” for the city and the state.
“From building world-class products to creating jobs and opportunity here in Montgomery, HMMA is a catalyst for the continued growth and development of our region,” Reed said. “This latest expansion is a milestone in our partnership, and we are grateful for their continued success in Montgomery.”
HMMA has launched a series of investment projects at the Alabama plant in recent years, including a $300 million project announced last year to prepare for the production of its first electric vehicles.
“Hyundai continues to show a strong commitment to Montgomery, where it has built high-quality vehicles since 2005, and to its Alabama workforce, which has been there every step of the way,” Secretary Canfield said.
“This new investment will allow HMMA to bring a redesigned Santa Fe SUV to the market while also powering the automaker’s drive for future growth in the U.S.”
Montgomery Chamber Chairman LaBarron Boone said HMMA’s total investment in its Alabama plant will reach $3.3 billion when the new project is complete.
“With today’s announcement, Hyundai continues to be a leading driver of the momentum in Montgomery,” he added.