100 jobs will be created in Fort Deposit

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 12, 2003

Calling it a day that will go down in history as a &uot;new day for Fort Deposit,&uot; Mayor Fletcher Fountain welcomed Sejong Industrial Company Ltd. and Arvin Meritor.

&uot;We here in Fort Deposit know how to treat people in a good way,&uot; Fountain told nearly 400 people in the audience at Fort Deposit Municipal Complex. &uot;And we can and will treat them in a way that they won't soon forget. If you see something you want, get it. If it's not here, then you don't need it! Welcome to Fort Deposit.&uot;

Lee Sik Park, president of Sejong Industrial Co. Ltd., addressed all in attendance, through a translator.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;It is a great honor and pleasure for me to have this opportunity to announce our plan to establish a manufacturing plant in Fort Deposit,&uot; Park said. &uot;My company, Sejong Industrial is Korea's largest automobile exhaust systems maker, established in 28 years ago in 1976.&uot;

Park gave a description of his company. &uot;We have a total of five manufacturing facilities around the world, with more than 1,500 employees at these plants. The total sales top $600 million.&uot;

He then introduced the partner company in his American venture.

&uot;Arvin Meritor has more than 150 manufacturing facilities all over the world, and their total number of employees are more than 32,000. Their sales top $7 billion.&uot;

Parks then illustrated his reasons for choosing Fort Deposit.

&uot;We selected the Town of Fort Deposit as our second home because the town has good geographical advantages (to Hyundai, in Hope Hull), good infrastructure, and the citizens of Fort Deposit give us the most heartfelt, warmest welcome,&uot; Parks said.

&uot;We are going to invest about $10 million to build a 100,000 square foot plant, where we will manufacture 300,000 units of automobile exhaust systems, which are to be supplied to the Hyundai Motor Alabama plant,&uot; he said. &uot;In order to become successful with this venture, I believe that the strong and continued support and assistance from the Town of Fort Deposit will be most important.&uot;

Parks then delivered a promise to the mayor.

&uot;Mayor Fletcher, I promise here today that all of us at Sejong and Arvin Meritor will do our very best to become a good corporate citizen,&uot; he said. &uot;God bless the Great State of Alabama, the Town of Fort deposit and its citizens, and God bless America.&uot;

Gary Faulkner, director of the Alabama Development Office, addressed those present.

&uot;It is true that all good things come to those who wait,&uot; Faulkner said. &uot;You are (all) very lucky today, in such a time of economic struggling. This is a great day in Fort Deposit. Our generation cannot even fathom the impact that Hyundai and the automotive industry in general will have on our way of life, but five years from now, our children will begin to realize it.&uot;

Harriett L. Means, chairperson for the Fort Deposit Economic Development Board, said there were many boards and agencies to be thanked for their support of the efforts to attract the company.

&uot;I want to thank everyone of the boards and the citizens of Fort Deposit for helping to make Fort Deposit a better place for everyone,&uot; Means said. &uot;We are going to help them expand. We are going to make Hyundai's buy Hyundai's and drive Hyundai's,&uot; she said.

The Town of Fort Deposit has invested between

$2.5 million and $3 million to get the plant in town. Its location will be in Fort Deposit's Industrial Park, on property known as the &uot;Callins property.&uot;