Factory to bring 100 jobs to Sardis

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 27, 2003

Gov. Bob Riley confirmed the worst kept secret in Crenshaw County Friday, announcing that South Korea’s Dongwon Metal Industrial Co. Ltd., a tier one parts supplier to Hyundai Motor Co., will build its plant just south of Highland Home.

Plans call for employment of 100 people who will manufacture doorframes for the Hyundai Sante Fe under the company name of Dongwon Autopart Technology Alabama LLC.

The new $12 to $15 million, 40,000 square-foot plant will go in Sardis, approximately five miles south of Highland Home School on U.S. Highway 331.

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Slated to open in 2005, the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama plant, in south Montgomery, plans to produce 1,000 cars per day.

&uot;Companies like yours are changing Alabama for the better,&uot; Riley said to Dongwon President Lee Eun Woo during the announcement in the Old Archives Room at the State Capitol.

Lee said building a plant in Alabama was logical since Hyundai is locating here.

He went on to say that of all the locations they scouted, the Crenshaw County site was most welcoming, because there they saw a community.

Lee said his company also has plants in South Korea and India.

Lee said construction is slated to begin in October with a completion deadline set for June 2004, or roughly the same time as the Hyundai plant.

Crenshaw County Probate Judge Jim Perdue expressed his excitement about the economic news with a football analogy. He said right now everything is in the first quarter of the game, and only success awaits his county.

&uot;I’m very excited to have this new industry become part of the Crenshaw County family,&uot; Perdue said. &uot;The community in and around Highland Home will look forward to an improved economic climate and better job market and we are glad to have Dongwon Industries as part of the family.&uot;

Perdue thanked all those responsible for bringing the supplier to Crenshaw County.

Sen. Wendell Mitchell, also on hand for the announcement, expressed his happiness over the announcement. He said, in keeping with Perdue’s football analogy, that it felt like the Crenshaw County team had received the kickoff and ran the ball back for 100 yards to get the touchdown. He also told Lee he and his company will find great people to work with in the area.

&uot;You are going find more than hospitality there,&uot; he said. &uot;You will find caring people, who are willing to do anything they can to help out.&uot;

State Rep. Charles Newton joined Mitchell in his praise of the day’s news by saying he gets excited whenever he hears about new industry coming to the state, but he feels especially proud when it moves into the area. He also said the plant’s location should reemphasize the importance of U.S. Highway 331 as a major route to Montgomery from Crenshaw County.

Gov. Riley said this is another example of success by working together.

&uot;I am happy that the Alabama Development Office was able to work with the Crenshaw County Economic and Industrial Development Authority and county officials to make this project a success.

This company will find an excellent workforce in Crenshaw County, and I look forward to its success and growth in the future as a part of Alabama’s ever-growing automotive industry.&uot;