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New look brings new jobs to area

The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is getting a new look.

That’s good news for the City of Greenville.

In order to produce the revamped mid-sized crossover SUV, Hwashin America, a Tier-I supplier for Hyundai, is making a $5 million investment in new equipment and hiring an additional 30 employees at an estimated cost of $750,000 in payroll.

According to Josh Simmons, Hwashin Human Resources Manager, the new equipment will be placed in the recently completed 120,000 square-foot addition, and the new employees will help with the production of the new line. That will allow Hwashin to continue to produce the 2012 Santa Fe, while also producing the 2013 version.

“We’ll continue to produce the old line until it is phased out,” Simmons said. “Until then we will produce both lines at the same time.”

The new line is expected to go into production in July.

To aid with the expansion, the City of Greenville has agreed to extend a 10-year tax abatement to the company.

The abatement means that the company will be exempt from paying all state and local non-educational taxes, all construction related transaction taxes with the exception of those levied for educational purposes or for capital improvements for education, and all mortgage and recording taxes.

The City of has issued tax abatements for Hwashin since 2003 when it located in Greenville.

“This is a normal thing that we’ve been doing,” Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon said. “They’re putting more and more people to work out there and that’s a good thing. It’s all about jobs.”

The addition of 30 new employees will bring the total number of employees at the Greenville plant to 585.