Hyundai to produce 2022 Tucson in Montgomery, shifting production of top-seller from South Korea
Hyundai Motor Company on Monday announced that it will begin manufacturing its Tucson line of SUVs at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) plant in Montgomery, starting with the model year 2022.
The announcement coincided with the company introducing the 2022 Tucson to the North American market in a virtual unveiling and press conference. This new model year, the fourth generation, will feature an all-new Tucson, including a hybrid model for the first time ever.
The Tucson is currently Hyundai’s top-selling SUV worldwide and the top-selling overall vehicle for the company in the United States. The Tucson has been exclusively built in South Korea until now. The 2022 model year will begin production in 2021.
Currently, HMMA assembles Sonata and Elantra model sedans as well as the Santa Fe model SUV at its Montgomery plant. It will also build the Santa Cruz, a new compact utility vehicle that features a flatbed.
“Hyundai’s decision to build the Tucson in Montgomery is indicative of their belief in the performance and expertise of our HMMA team. It allows Hyundai to quickly adapt to consumer preferences and demonstrates the long-term commitment between Hyundai and the Montgomery community. We are proud of Hyundai’s track record of success and stand steadfast in our continued support of HMMA,” stated Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed.
In the company’s announcement, José Muñoz, president and CEO of both Hyundai Motor North America and Hyundai Motor America, said that Hyundai will be introducing 12 new or significantly enhanced SUVs by the end of 2021. This reportedly includes a coming new luxury model of the Santa Fe.
HMMA, which started vehicle production in May 2005, is Hyundai’s only U.S. manufacturing facility and produces Hyundai’s highest volume U.S. models. A release explained that the company will build the 2022 Tucson and Santa Cruz at HMMA because of the continued SUV growth in North America and the benefits of localized production in meeting consumer demand. While some Tucson production will continue in Korea, the majority of production for U.S. customers will come from Alabama.
“Montgomery remains deeply committed to its partnership with Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama and is honored to learn that now five of Hyundai’s best-selling, innovative and high-quality models are built here in the River Region. Together, Hyundai and Montgomery have created a roadmap for manufacturing success of which we are very proud,” said Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean.
HMMA is a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility now capable of building five high-quality models on a single line with a group of more than 3,000 dedicated team members. The plant’s annual operating capacity is 400,000 vehicles; production has been at capacity as the company continues to expand its operations. HMMA has produced more than 4.75 million vehicles for the North American market over the past 15 years.
“As home to Hyundai’s only North American manufacturing facility, the Montgomery community pledges to continue our enormously successful partnership. We are so very honored that Hyundai has chosen to expand the number of vehicles built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama,” commented 2020 chairman of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Arthur DuCote.
Monday’s announcement came after Mobis, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hyundai, last week announced it would build a second plant in Alabama; the first is near HMMA and the new location will be in Jefferson County.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn