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:

More than a million: Alabama automakers hit key milestone in record year
on January 07, 2016 

Alabama's three automakers combined to produce more than 1 million vehicles last year, the largest annual production total in the history of the state industry.

Hyundai, Honda and Mercedes-Benz collectively turned out at least 1,033,905 vehicles during 2015, according to the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama.

Hyundai led the way with 384,519 sedans and compacts at its Montgomery plant, while Honda's Talladega County operation followed with 349,386 SUVs and minivans.


Hyundai to add Santa Fe Sport to Alabama production line-up

MONTGOMERY, Alabama - Hyundai said today it plans to add the Santa Fe Sport SUV to the production line-up at its Alabama plant, diversifying the product mix at a facility that turns out the automaker's top-selling U.S. sedans.

Hyundai will invest $52 million to begin producing the Santa Fe Sport at the Montgomery manufacturing facility, where Sonata and Elantra sedans are now made. Production of the Santa Fe Sport will begin this summer.

"We're very happy Hyundai has been able to make this change, which will result in more great Santa Fe crossovers available to our dealers and customers," said Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. "The new production will help us meet the growing demand for one of our most popular products.


No layoffs planned for BP employees after sale to Indorama
By Keith Clines Staff Writer | 
January 8, 2016

The local plant manager for the company that plans to buy the Decatur BP plant said there are no plans to lay off any BP employees when the sale becomes final.

Yashwant Awasthi, vice president of operations for AlphaPET, said Thursday the 444 employees at the BP plant will join AlphaPET's 125 employees when Indorama Ventures PLC buys the plant.

"It's like a bigger family for us," Awasthi said.


U.S. payrolls surge in December in boost to economic outlook

U.S. payrolls surged in December and the job count for the prior two months was revised sharply higher, showing the economy on solid ground despite a troubling international backdrop.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 292,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. The unemployment rate held steady at a 7-1/2-year low of 5 percent even as more people entered the labor force, a sign of confidence in the job market.

Payrolls for October and November were revised to show 50,000 more jobs created than previously reported, adding to the report's upbeat tone. The only wrinkle was a one cent drop in average hourly earnings.


Join Our Mailing List