Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA), the Korean carmaker’s factory in the US, recently celebrated the five millionth vehicle built there. HMMA reached the milestone in less than 17 years after production started in May 2005 in the yellowhammer state.
The five millionth vehicle was a Hyundai Santa Cruz built on July 27. To reach this achievement, the factory in Montgomery has produced 2,562,880 Sonatas, 1,489,568 Elantras, 908,779 Santa Fes, 36,989 Tucsons and 1,784 units of Hyundai’s latest model, the Santa Cruz compact truck.
“The five millionth vehicle represents a tremendous achievement for Hyundai Motor North America (HMNA). We could not have achieved this success without the strong leadership and commitment of our team members in Alabama. Hyundai will continue to invest and grow throughout the region,” said Jose Munoz, global COO of Hyundai and president/CEO of HMNA.
HMMA recently completed a plant expansion to support the addition of its fourth and fifth models, the Tucson SUV and the Santa Cruz, which joined mainstays Sonata, Elantra and Santa Fe. The addition of the new models further enhances HMMA’s ability to adjust its vehicle production with market demand, Hyundai says.
As you can see in the pictures above, the first car from HMMA was a Sonata NF. That car seems like ages ago because of Hyundai’s meteoric rise in the past decade. I still remember seeing the ads in Motor Trend and Road & Track, where the unique selling points of Hyundai cars weren’t even the cars themselves, but America’s Best Warranty. Just look at them Hyundais now!
The unibody Santa Cruz – a faithful reproduction of the similarly named concept from 2015 – shows Hyundai’s boldness, both in design and entering new segments. It shares the same platform as the current Tucson and comes with two 2.5 litre engine options (NA and turbo) and HTRAC all-wheel drive. Towing capacity is surprisingly strong, beating the also-fresh Ford Maverick and even the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, but it’s really a truck that’s made for non-truck types.
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