S.M.A.R.T. Alabama, LLC earns company’s 5 Star Award

Published 6:00 am Thursday, December 4, 2008

It’s not often that a company can actually say it is the very best in the entire nation, but that is exactly the case for SMART Alabama, LLC. The Hyundai Tier 1 supplier plant received the Quality 5 Star Award, which is the highest award rating for its achievements in its quality management systems’ evaluations and automotive operating standards.

This is the third year of the evaluations for SMART, which are rated from best to worst with a 5 rating being the highest.

“If you were to go online in order to find a five-star hotel, you’d know that you were staying at the finest place with the best amenities,” SMART General Manager Gary Sport explained. “We are the only supplier in North America to receive a 5 star rating.”

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Hyundai has 38 suppliers in the nation and over 430 worldwide; all of these are rated by the same criteria as SMART.

“Our parent company in Korea has never even achieved this rating in 14 years, and we did it in three,” he said. “This really puts Luverne on the map.”

In a special ceremony held on the front lawn of the plant, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama Vice-President Yang Su Kim and SMART Alabama CEO Ho Gap Kang were on hand to unveil the 5 Star plaque.

“I give thanks to the city of Luverne, to Crenshaw County, and to our community friends this day,” Kang said. “I give my biggest applause to the staff of SMART. Today is our day and it’s your day.”

“We are so proud of you,” General Manager Dee Sands said. “It’s been a long time coming. We are the number one supplier, we’re the best, and we’re going to work hard to maintain it.”