When we think “Made in America,” a few things that come to mind are Louisville Sluggers, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Crayola crayons, and Stetson cowboy hats.

With vehicles, it’s a different story. And most of the time, the leading character is a Ford F-Series Pickup. But foreign companies, including Hyundai, are designing, manufacturing, and producing cars for American drivers within our borders. Hyundai may have its roots in South Korea, but the company understands and supports the American culture on and off the road.

Proud Partner in the American Dream

Let’s recap Hyundai’s All-American success story. The company didn’t bring its products to the United States and start selling them until 1986. Unlike the competition, Hyundai was focused on making cars that met the essential needs and economic means of buyers such as college students and young families.

These days, Hyundai has a product for every American, from the struggling college student to the business man who lives a life of luxury. Over half of the cars Hyundai sells in the United States are made in America. In the USA alone, the company has: four regional offices, a parts-distribution center, an assembly plant, an engineering facility, a design center, a testing facility, and six ports to receive shipped products along the East, West, and Gulf coasts. The company is nationally headquartered in California, has more than 800 dealerships in the nation, and accounts for more than 2 percent of the country’s automotive market.

With Hyundai’s large presence in America comes a large amount of jobs and money for communities across the country. In 2011, the company noted that it had contributed over 94,000 jobs to the American market.

Sweet Home Alabama

In April 2002, Hyundai announced that it was opening a new manufacturing facility in Montgomery, Alabama. The plant cost $1.7 billion to establish and marked the company’s second attempt at producing cars in North America (the first being in Quebec, Canada in the 1990s). When the plant started production in 2005, it provided the state’s residents with 2,700 jobs and continues to contribute $3.8 billion to the state’s economy every year.

The plant currently assembles the Elantra, Sonata, and Theta engine. It takes 19 hours for each Hyundai vehicle made to go from sheet metal to street-legal and in one work day, the plant assembles more than 1,500 cars. The technology used in this facility makes it one of the most advanced manufacturing plants in the world. For example, 280 robots work together in the plant’s welding shop to accurately weld each stamped piece of metal together. From there, the car goes in a nine-hour paint bath. If that makes you as curious as us about what else goes into making a Hyundai, we recommend booking a free tour of the plant.

Do you drive American cars or foreign cars? Tell us about your ride in the comments below.

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