Itís official. Hyundai will build the Santa Cruz compact utility vehicle. The automaker confirms the pickup 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. Itís been a long time coming. 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.
Hyundai says the 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. The brand says its crossover creates a new segment that successfully combines capability and utility to meet the unspoken needs of a new generation of buyers, especially Millennials.
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.
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.
Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, headquartered in Montgomery, Ala., is an independent manufacturing operation of Hyundai Motor Company, based in Seoul, Korea. HMMA currently produces the 2020 Sonata, Elantra, and Santa Fe. Hyundai cars and sport utility vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced by more than 900 Hyundai dealerships across North America. Hyundai Motor Group aims to produce 700,000 fuel cell systems annually by 2030, including 500,000 units for FCEVs.
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