One of the world’s largest car seat frame producers and a South Korean automaker will expand operations in Phenix City, bringing nearly $40 million in capital investment and creating approximately 450 jobs over the next few years.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Phenix City Mayor Eddie Lowe and other area leaders spoke at the plant’s new site at 23 Downing Drive to outline the new investments made by Daechang Seat Co. and Hyundai Motors in the area.
As part of the project, Daechang will invest more than $23 million dollars and create 300 jobs over the next three years. Hyundai will kick in an additional $15 million on the project as part of the auto maker’s electric vehicle push, said Phenix City Economic Development Manager Shaun Culligan. Daechang produces seats for Hyundai Motors, which include the Hyundai and Kia brands.
The move comes after Phenix City leaders approved economic incentive packages for both companies. The Phenix City Council approved an incentive package for Hyundai earlier this month that includes a 10-year abatement of all non-educational taxes. Councilors approved Daechang’s incentives in March.
“What we are witnessing today is the power of partnerships,” Ivey said.
Daechang purchased a new facility and 22 acres of land at the Phenix Industrial Park from the city after outgrowing its old plant at 903 Fontaine Road. The company first announced it was coming to the area in 2019, and initially sought to employ 100 workers. Culligan told the Ledger-Enquirer that the company almost immediately exceeded those goals.
Hyundai announced last month that it plans to start production of its first Alabama-made electric vehicles in Montgomery as part of a $300 million expansion that will create 200 more jobs.
The company is planning to expand its operations in Georgia as well. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the company is negotiating for a site along I-16 in Bryan County near Savannah. Its first Georgia plant opened in West Point in 2009 under Kia branding.
Hyundai announced last year that it plans to invest $7.4 billion in the U.S. to produce electric vehicles, enhance production facilities and further its investments in “smart mobility solutions,” according to a company news release.
Phenix City Mayor Eddie Lowe told the Ledger-Enquirer that this is a huge deal for the city and the region.
“We’re working on other organizations that will create hundreds of jobs,” he said. “(I) told the governor to get used to coming to Phenix City.”
Ledger-Enquirer videographer Mike Haskey contributed to this report.