Montgomery is the state capital of Alabama. Located on the banks of the Alabama River, MGM, is known for its place in Civil Rights History; a southern city with deep southern roots. There’s plenty to see and do during a visit. Check out the animals at the MGM zoo; see the former home of F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald; experience country music history at the Hank Williams Museum; First White House of the Confederacy where Jefferson Davis lived, and more.
Montgomery, Alabama has a rich history, and the Hyundai HMMA plant created their place, in May 2005, with their first assembly and manufacturing plant in the United States. The huge plant can be seen from the air when flying into the Montgomery Regional Airport. It’s located on 1,744 acres of land and consists of 2-million square-feet of facilities that include: a stamping facility, paint shop, vehicle assembly shop, a two-mile test track and two engine shops.
When the plant first opened, the first vehicle made was the 2006 Hyundai Sonata. Today, around 3,000 employees and 400+ robots are busy building the 2015 Sonata and Elantra sedans.
Car parts are transferred by electro-monorails from the Stamping Shop, to the welding shop, where over 250 robots weld and seal car parts via 100 percent automated process. Automation prevents possible damage to the steel and ensures quality and consistency.
In the 7,000 feet of General Assembly area there are state-of-the-art conveyors which adjust to the height of each individual Team Member. This allows members to install parts easily while reducing strain and physical fatigue.
It’s easy to think that manufacturing plants are boring. I doubt many people have “take the HMMA Alabama factory tour” on the top of their “To Do List” while visiting Montgomery. That’s cool, I get it, but if you like technology, or robots, or fun, then you might want to reconsider. On a recent press trip with Hyundai, they took us on a VIP (Very Important Press) tour of the HMMA facility. Okay, so a VIP tour is a little misleading. You might think we saw more than the general public, when we actually saw less than a public tour. The average tour lasts 1.5 hours, ours was a condensed version.
So, why was it a VIP tour? Just like a public tour, we wore safety glasses and headsets, and rode on the Disney style tram past enthusiastic employees, and The main difference: we were allowed to take photos and video of our experience. This is one of the coolest factories I have ever toured, check out this video of our tour:
Oh, and don’t be jealous, but we also were able to drive a new 2015 Hyundai Sonata right off the production line! Coolest moment EVER, on any automotive press trip!
At full capacity, HMMA can produce up to 399,500 vehicles per year.
Even with an incredibly full schedule, Hyundai continues to focus on attention to detail. The HMMA goal is for 97% of finished vehicles to roll off the production line in perfect condition.
Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) tours are free and open to the public. Be sure to reserve your tour, available days and times: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2:00 p.m, or Thursday evenings 6:30 p.m.