Korea-based Hyundai Motor Co. will be investing $173 million for the expansion and modification of an engine plant in Alabama, the state disclosed on Monday.
The expansion will produce the NU engine for the small Elantra sedan, which is being manufactured at the company’s plant in Montgomery. This expansion is expected to be finished this autumn and production is set to commence in March 2012. According to the state, the investment will create 214 new jobs.
In addition, the expansion will increase production capacity for the automaker’s Theta engine for the Kia Sorrento and the Hyundai Santa Fe models, which are being produced at the assembly plant in West Point, Ga., of Kia Motors Corp, which is an affiliate of the company.
Aside from increasing the company’s engine capacity by 300,000 units annually, CEO Deuk Lim at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama LLC stated in a news conference that the enhancements to the engine factory represent a chance for the company to implement new manufacturing innovations.
Hyundai is the fastest growing major vehicle manufacturer in the U.S. market and the company’s sales in the nation are booming. The Alabama plant manufactures two of the bestselling vehicles in the market, the Elantra and the Sonata.
Operations at its assembly lines operate as much as 20 hours per day on weekdays and on some Saturdays in order to meet high demand. It was also announced that there could be a second Hyundai assembly plant in the U.S. in the future.