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Hyundai’s Swift Growth Lifts Alabama’s Economy
New York Times ^ | February 18, 2011 | NICK BUNKLEY

Posted on 02/19/2011 1:15:34 PM PST by reaganaut1

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Few people in this city 800 miles south of Detroit cared much about the auto industry until Hyundai announced it would build cars here nine years ago.

These days, Montgomery cannot stop talking about it.

Hyundai and its sister company, Kia, which opened a plant last year just across the Georgia state line, have brought thousands of well-paying jobs to the region and even helped nurture a little Korean culture in Montgomery, the first capital of the old Confederacy. Hyundai is running its Montgomery plant almost nonstop. Rarely do more than a few weeks pass without word that another parts supplier has dozens of new positions to fill, typically offering good benefits and double the pay that the average Alabaman earns.

Hyundai, which will observe its 25th anniversary selling vehicles to American drivers on Sunday, was little more than an ambitious, second-tier brand when it chose to build its first United States car factory just south of Montgomery. But during the recent recession, the South Korean company thrived as Americans sought out cheap cars just as Hyundais were improving in quality.

In 2010, Hyundai and Kia each posted their highest sales in the United States and, taken together, surged ahead of Ford Motor to become fourth-largest automaker worldwide. Hyundai built 300,000 cars in Montgomery last year and sold most of them in the United States.

“If folks looked deeply at how far we’ve gone so quickly, from having no U.S. production five years ago to where we are today, it’s amazing,” John Krafcik, chief executive of Hyundai Motor America, said. “I don’t know that any company has gotten to such a high level of local assembly as Hyundai that fast.”

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; US: Alabama
KEYWORDS: automakers; autos; cars; economy; hyundai; manufacturing
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Good for Alabama, and good for Hyundai. Manufacturing can flourish in right-to-work states.
1 posted on 02/19/2011 1:15:37 PM PST by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1
Mrs Buzzard drives a Hyundai Sonata. Troublefree and very driveable car.
2 posted on 02/19/2011 1:17:46 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: reaganaut1

Non-UAW?


3 posted on 02/19/2011 1:17:49 PM PST by hattend (Obama got his 3am call about Egypt. The call went right to the answering machine.- Sarah Palin)
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To: reaganaut1

Two words: No Unions.


4 posted on 02/19/2011 1:18:26 PM PST by Islander7 (There is no septic system so vile, so filthy, the left won't drink from to further their agenda)
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To: hinckley buzzard

I drive a 2005 Tucson. It has 72,000 miles and I have had no problems with it.


5 posted on 02/19/2011 1:19:06 PM PST by dirtboy
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To: hattend
Yep : Bama right to work state.

I wonder if the south has enough land to house all these people who need jobs.

6 posted on 02/19/2011 1:19:51 PM PST by scooby321
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To: reaganaut1

They just built it there so management would have access to all those gorgeous golf courses...


7 posted on 02/19/2011 1:19:58 PM PST by jessduntno ("That 3 a.m. phone call from Egypt to Obama went right to the answering machine." - Sarah Palin)
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To: reaganaut1

Nice affordable cars for young families and retired folks to get around in.


8 posted on 02/19/2011 1:20:11 PM PST by kittymyrib
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To: reaganaut1

Krafcik knows what he is doing.


9 posted on 02/19/2011 1:21:20 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: hinckley buzzard
I bought an Hyundai Elantra Touring Wagon in July of 09. Nice little trouble free car with good gas mileage. There's tons of room in the back for those all too frequent Home Depot runs.

I couldn't fit anything large in my Accord or BMW. I'm very glad that I bought it!

10 posted on 02/19/2011 1:24:41 PM PST by alice_in_bubbaland (DeMint/Ryan 2012!!!!!)
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To: hinckley buzzard

Mrs Buzzard drives a Hyundai Sonata.


We rented a Sonata last year. Nice car with a good combination of styling, ride, comfort, and high mileage.


11 posted on 02/19/2011 1:28:03 PM PST by Starboard
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To: reaganaut1

I hear a very high percentage of Koreans are Christian.


12 posted on 02/19/2011 1:29:40 PM PST by RoadTest (Organized religion is no substitute for the relationship the living God wants with you.)
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To: reaganaut1
Beautiful automobile. You don't get any more American than Alabama. It looks like Rush's Maybach,.. sorta.
13 posted on 02/19/2011 1:30:05 PM PST by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.)
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To: reaganaut1

I love my Elantra hatchback. There are a few minor things I don’t care for, like the funky “paperclip” mounts for the headlight bulbs. But in all the important areas - reliability, room, comfort - it’s been great.


14 posted on 02/19/2011 1:31:43 PM PST by DemforBush (A Repo man is *always* intense!)
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To: reaganaut1

This can’t be true. Just ask one of the senators from Washington (state) who said that the new Air Force tankers couldn’t be built in Alabama because we don’t have the intelligence to build technical products (that’s a paraphrase of what she said, but it is what she meant).


15 posted on 02/19/2011 1:32:15 PM PST by suthener
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To: hinckley buzzard

Have one of the older Sonata 6’s. Too bad they don’t make those anymore.


16 posted on 02/19/2011 1:34:21 PM PST by PAR35
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To: reaganaut1

I’m on my 2nd Elantra. Both trouble free.


17 posted on 02/19/2011 1:34:32 PM PST by radioone (Proud to be an enemy of Obama)
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To: DemforBush

Those wire clamp headlight bulb mounts aren’t unique to Hyundai. I have them in a Toyota Corolla and a Subaru Legacy GT wagon. It’s apparently the new way, less weight and less cost.


18 posted on 02/19/2011 1:34:52 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: scooby321

The south is big, bigger than the north.


19 posted on 02/19/2011 1:37:20 PM PST by BenKenobi (Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong. - Silent Cal)
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To: scooby321

The south is big, bigger than the north.


20 posted on 02/19/2011 1:37:24 PM PST by BenKenobi (Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong. - Silent Cal)
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To: kbennkc

Nice looking ride. What is under the bonnet?


21 posted on 02/19/2011 1:38:52 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: kbennkc

“It looks like Rush’s Maybach.”

He could keep one in the trunk.


22 posted on 02/19/2011 1:39:18 PM PST by jessduntno ("That 3 a.m. phone call from Egypt to Obama went right to the answering machine." - Sarah Palin)
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To: radioone
Those new Kia Optimas are really nice looking as well. The Koreans have gotten serious about building cars.

Free Image Hosting

23 posted on 02/19/2011 1:39:28 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: RegulatorCountry

Hyundai and Kia are owned by the same company, and many of their cars are now “related” like Chevy and Buick (run on same/similar platforms.

We bought a Hyundai last year and my wife is very pleased with it. It was a great value. I did try to buy American but F was way overpriced (and don’t deal) and GM was slightly overpriced and had really cheap-looking interiors - besides being “on allocation”, which I think was a trick to create an artificial shortage to keep the price high. Well, eventually, someone will buy my GM car.

Their styling is done in the US, I believe. They do tend to copy the styling of other manufacturers, but the cars really do look good.


24 posted on 02/19/2011 1:48:17 PM PST by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: RegulatorCountry

I had a Kia sorento- 5 sp auto with od- 265 hp 25 mpg- fun to drive and fast


25 posted on 02/19/2011 1:53:20 PM PST by mriguy67
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To: reaganaut1
The United Automobile Workers union has long tried to organize plants in the United States operated by foreign carmakers, most of which are in the South, but has yet to succeed anywhere.


Bob King, president of UAW

26 posted on 02/19/2011 1:58:05 PM PST by winstonwolf33
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To: reaganaut1
I would bet money on the fact that a whole bunch of the workers don't speak ia de english the ones building it and the ones widen i85 to it didn't.
27 posted on 02/19/2011 1:58:13 PM PST by org.whodat
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To: reaganaut1
Hyundai and its sister company, Kia

I did not know Kia was a sister to Hyundia but it makes sense and interestingly I have seen a lot of Kia's on the road lately.

28 posted on 02/19/2011 2:02:18 PM PST by SouthDixie (The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age.)
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To: reaganaut1

It’s easy to understand why the Koreans would favor the South over the North...


29 posted on 02/19/2011 2:06:39 PM PST by Tex-Con-Man
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To: Army Air Corps
4.6 litre V8 (about 280 ci for NASCAR Fans)

385 hp at 6500

385 lb ft torque at 3500

119.9 inch wheelbase and 4400 lbs it is not a small car

30 posted on 02/19/2011 2:13:17 PM PST by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.)
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To: Tex-Con-Man
It’s easy to understand why the Koreans would favor the South over the North...

They know northerners have no electricity.

The lights are real. The boundaries are added on, in case Sheila Jackson Lee is still a Freeper.

31 posted on 02/19/2011 2:17:59 PM PST by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.)
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To: kbennkc

Just tell her it’s a flag on mars. She will understand.


32 posted on 02/19/2011 2:19:35 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: reaganaut1
Some other good news for Alabama:

The largest private investment ever made in the USA, the ThyssenKrupp Steel USA, plant is coming on-line just north of Mobile.

We expect (Boeing be damned) to land the $35 billion US Air Force tanker contract here in Mobile within the next couple weeks.

BTW, we won it once but Boeing pulled political strings and had the award cancelled.

33 posted on 02/19/2011 2:22:39 PM PST by blam
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To: kbennkc

Nice bit of power there. How quick is she off the line?


34 posted on 02/19/2011 2:25:28 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: reaganaut1
My daughter just bought a Hyundai Genesis Coupe after her Audi TT was stolen and wrecked. I had a blast driving it and my wife wants to buy one after we move to California later this year.

I would be all over a Sonata for myself were I not already going for the Nissan Leaf. (I'm buy it for purely nerdy as opposed to ecological reasons)

36 posted on 02/19/2011 2:25:37 PM PST by WalterSobchak2012
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To: kbennkc

A Picture is worth 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 Words.


37 posted on 02/19/2011 2:26:52 PM PST by Koracan
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To: reaganaut1

I wanted to buy American but not UAW built and my 2011 Sonata has ended up being the perfect car for me. It’s sleek, elegant, comfy, has all the gadgets I need in it and gets really great milage. My round trips always average 36mpg or higher yet the 4 cylinder has more pep than I need. Never been happier with a new car and I’ve had many in my 70+ years.


38 posted on 02/19/2011 2:29:17 PM PST by Joan Kerrey
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To: WalterSobchak2012

The Leaf? Seriosuly?


39 posted on 02/19/2011 2:35:27 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: Red Badger

Auto Ping.


40 posted on 02/19/2011 2:36:27 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: suthener
This can’t be true. Just ask one of the senators from Washington (state) who said that the new Air Force tankers couldn’t be built in Alabama because we don’t have the intelligence to build technical products (that’s a paraphrase of what she said, but it is what she meant).

That sounds dumb enough to have come from the pie hole of Patty Murray. She is the genius who tells American school children the reason Afghans don't like us is because, Osama bin Laden builds hospitals and day care centers there and we don't. I wonder if she knows the home of American rocketry? She' no rocket scientist so why should she?

Now with Biden as VP, she is the undisputed stupidest person in the Senate. It was a tie.

41 posted on 02/19/2011 2:44:20 PM PST by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.)
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To: Joan Kerrey
I wanted to buy American but not UAW built and my 2011 Sonata has ended up being the perfect car for me.

Although I believe in buying American, I can't fault you for that. Wisconsin is just the latest example of what unions have become.

42 posted on 02/19/2011 2:57:44 PM PST by TwelveOfTwenty (Compassionate Conservatism? Promoting self reliance is compassionate. Promoting dependency is not.)
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To: Army Air Corps
I spent an entire decade of my life working on high torque electric motors, so electric vehicles are a major interest of mine.

Me and my brother have been hanging on to a pair of junk Datsan 210's for conversion as retirement projects for more than a decade.

43 posted on 02/19/2011 3:03:16 PM PST by WalterSobchak2012
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To: WalterSobchak2012

Have fun. Not my bag, but enjoy.


44 posted on 02/19/2011 3:06:38 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: WalterSobchak2012

As for the Leaf, just keep in mind that the operating distance is not quite as advertised.


45 posted on 02/19/2011 3:12:29 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: org.whodat
When you don't anything..Please keep guestaments to yourself.
46 posted on 02/19/2011 3:14:47 PM PST by captnorb
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To: Army Air Corps

I also have a Lexus SUV, the Leaf like my current Prius is strictly a nerdy indulgence.


47 posted on 02/19/2011 3:15:20 PM PST by WalterSobchak2012
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To: suthener
Unfortunately, the incident at Toomer’s Corners reinforces that mistaken idea.
48 posted on 02/19/2011 3:21:54 PM PST by GAB-1955 (I write books, love my wife, serve my nation, and believe in the Resurrection.)
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To: WalterSobchak2012

To each his own. My nerdy indulgence would be a BMW turbo Diesel. Different strokes for different folks.


49 posted on 02/19/2011 3:22:38 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: WalterSobchak2012

That is a nice looking ride. How was the handling? Was the steering sharp and was there some good feedback?


50 posted on 02/19/2011 3:25:03 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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