State approves #036;118.5 million for Hyundai plant

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 20, 2002

$118.5 million is the amount that the Alabama House of Representatives and the Senate approved last Thursday to help lure the Hyundai Corporation into bringing a $1 billion automotive plant to the Montgomery area.

The announcement that Alabama is one of the two finalists for the manufacturing plant came a couple of weeks ago, and the new bill hopefully will assist the company in a decision favoring Alabama.

"This bill is designed to help recruit new industry and to meet the commitment of industry that is already here," said Rip Andrews, deputy press secretary for Gov. Don Siegelman. "This is a critical bill for economic

development and the governor is pleased that the legislators moved so quickly on it."

The money for the bill would come from the sale of $75 million in bonds by the Alabama Public School and College Authority, and also would be used to complete the commitment with the Mercedes plant. Initially, the Hyundai plant would employ nearly 2,000 people, but that number is inclusive only of those who will work at the plant.

According to Jamie Wallace, interim director for the Selma-Dallas County Economic Development Authority, much of the decision of Hyundai locating the industry in Alabama depends on the incentives that the state is willing to offer. "A lot of people had a problem with the way we handled Mercedes in 1993, but in retrospect, the incentives were

probably a good thing."

The Hyundai Corporation is expected to make a decision between Alabama and Kentucky within five months.