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Alabama remains car-making king as Hyundai shows off redesigned Elantra in LA

Hyundai’s redesigned 2017 Elantra sedan is getting a streamlined look and many advances.
Hyundai’s redesigned 2017 Elantra sedan is getting a streamlined look and many advances.

LOS ANGELES — Hyundai showed off the redesigned 2017 Elantra sedan at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday, with the automaker giving the Alabama-made vehicle a bolder aerodynamic design, more interior space and other significant new features.

The sixth-generation Elantra – one of Hyundai’s best-selling models – will arrive in dealer showrooms early next year. Hyundai produced nearly 400,000 Elantra and Sonata sedans in 2014 at its Montgomery assembly facility, where it has invested around $1.8 billion.

The Elantra’s new, streamlined design features a hexagonal grille and front-wheel air curtains that improve air flow, boosting fuel efficiency. It’s also getting two new engine options for enhanced fuel economy, along with new safety features, better ride quality and reduced noise.

Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said the debut of the new Elantra represents another milestone for the automaker’s Alabama manufacturing facility, which celebrated 10 years of production in May.

Canfield and Hollie Pegg, an assistant director of business development for Commerce, joined leaders from Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama and Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange at the Elantra unveiling.

“Hyundai’s Montgomery plant and its workers have helped fuel the automaker’s growth in the vital U.S. auto market, producing its most popular models,” said Canfield, who was at the New York Auto Show last year when the automaker debuted a redesigned Sonata.

Also in the Alabama group in Los Angeles was Hank Hutchinson, an attorney with Capell & Howard.

“They’ve kind of upgraded it at every level,” Hutchinson told the Montgomery Advertiser. “For a compact car, it packs a punch. This is going to be good for Hyundai and its suppliers, which means it’s going to be good for Montgomery.”

The new Elantra was also shown off Wednesday at the Hyundai assembly plant in Montgomery, when it is expected to go into full production next month.

Hyundai recently produced its 3 millionth vehicle in Alabama, and its Montgomery facility has an annual economic impact approaching $5 billion, according to an analysis released in August.

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