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Tuesday, 17 May 2011 18:41

Hyundai to Expand Alabama Engine Plant, Create Over 200 New Jobs

Hyundai Motor Co. will invest $173 million in expanding and modifying an engine plant in Alabama starting in 2012, the state said on May 16.

The expansion, which is expected to be completed in the fall of 2012, will allow the plant to make the engine for the small Elantra sedan being produced at the automaker's Montgomery, AL, plant.

This would boost production capacity for the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Kia Sorrento models manufactured at the Kia Motors Corp. assembly plant at West Point, Ga.

"The enhancements to the engine plant will not only increase our engine capacity by 300,000 units per year, it will also provide us the opportunity to implement new manufacturing technologies," Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama LLC CEO Deuk Lim said during a news conference May 16 according to Automotive News.

The investment will also create 214 new jobs at the plant, the state said according to Automotive News.

In addition to this announcement, a second Hyundai U.S. assembly plant is rumored to follow at some point.

Sources told Reuters that Hyundai has recently spoken at least informally with at least three U.S. states, including Alabama, about plans for a second plant in the southeast of the United States.

Officials in South Carolina and Mississippi expressed interest in luring the automaker to place new production in those states, the sources added.

Hyundai Motor's chief financial officer, Lee Won-hee, said that the company may consider building another U.S. production plant if the market continued to improve, but that no formal plans are in place.

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