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Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development.  If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an EDPA Partner


In this issue:
Hyundai's Alabama auto plant sets 2012 production record
Private sector job gains offer hope for labor market
U.S. rising as production base for Honda, other foreign carmakers




Hyundai's Alabama auto plant sets 2012 production record

By Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com 

on January 02, 2013 at 3:39 PM

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- Workers at Hyundai's Montgomery auto assembly plant produced more than 361,000 vehicles last year, a record high for the Korean automaker's state operations.

Hyundai said today that its final output tally for 2012 was 361,348 Sonata sedans and Elantra compacts, a nearly 7 percent improvement over the 338,127 vehicles produced in 2011.


Last year, Hyundai added a third shift at the factory, a response to high demand for the Sonata and the Elantra. The plant is currently producing about 1,500 vehicles per day.







Private sector job gains offer hope for labor market

WASHINGTON | Thu Jan 3, 2013 


(Reuters) - Private-sector employers stepped up hiring in December, suggesting some momentum in the economy as the year ended, even as a budget crisis loomed.


While other data on Thursday showed an increase in the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits, the trend remained consistent with steady job growth.


"The underlying economy has momentum, and the employment data confirms that. The hope and prayer of the market is that our political leaders don't screw it up," said John Brady, managing director at R.J. O'Brien & Associates in Chicago.


The ADP National Employment Report showed the private sector added 215,000 jobs last month, comfortably above economists' expectation of a 133,000 gain. The report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics.

The increase came even as companies worried the economy might fall off the "fiscal cliff" at year end, which would have meant higher taxes and, some predicted, suppressed hiring.







U.S. rising as production base for Honda, other foreign carmakers N. America exports to outnumber Japan imports within years
Jan. 2 By Christine Tierney
The Detriot News


The assembly line ground to a halt at Honda Motor Co.'s Marysville, Ohio, plant the afternoon of Dec. 5 as managers and line workers gathered to hear a videotaped message from President Takanobu Ito in Tokyo. He congratulated the plant's employees, who had just produced the 1 millionth Honda built in the United States for export.


"Quality for the world, made in America, has been an important Honda commitment," Ito said, adding he hoped exports from the U.S. would keep rising.


A Marysville worker then drove a silver Accord EX-L sedan in front of the crowd. The Accord was destined for a customer in South Korea.


One million exports over 25 years may not seem extraordinary for a company whose cumulative U.S. output exceeds 20 million vehicles since 1982. But the Tokyo-based automaker expects to reach an even bigger milestone in a couple of years, when its vehicle exports from North America - now numbering close to 100,000 a year - are expected to exceed its imports from Japan.


The shift underscores the importance of the U.S. not just as a massive market, but as an increasingly important and  affordable production base for Honda and other Japanese automakers.



[Detroit News]

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