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 Has Good News for Alabama
by  Reuters
Hyundai Motor Co  HYMTF -8.60%  said it will start making its Santa Fe Sport at its Montgomery, Alabama, factory in early summer to increase supply for the quick-growing crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment of the U.S. market.

The announcement comes as the South Korean automaker grapples with stagnating sales of its mainstay sedans such as the Sonata, as low oil prices drive sales of petrol-guzzling SUVs and trucks.

The Santa Fe Sport, a five-passenger crossover, will be one of three models made at the plant, joining the Sonata and Elantra sedans.


Five Birmingham startups advance to semifinals of Alabama Launchpad competition
Alan Alexander Reporter Birmingham Business Journal
Jan 8, 2016

Alabama Launchpad has named eight semifinalists for its first startups competition of 2016, five of which are based in Birmingham.

The companies were chosen from a field of 17 and will be competing for a share of $250,000 on Feb. 19 at Evonik Industries on Lakeshore Parkway.

The companies from Birmingham include:
Alternavisit: A secure, cloud-based software to capture patient requests for care without a doctor's office visit.


AU's McWhorter School of Building Science receives $2 million gift 
Special to the News
January 8, 2016 

Jim and Alison Gorrie of Birmingham committed a $2 million gift to Auburn University's McWhorter School of Building Science in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction to enhance service learning opportunities for students and to create two endowed distinguished professorships within the school. Their gift is made in support of Because This is Auburn - A Campaign for Auburn University, a $1 billion fundraising effort in support of Auburn's students, faculty, programs and facilities.

"We are committed to the success of Auburn University, and we hope that this gift allows the school to provide students additional opportunities to experience real-life projects that are embedded in their communities," said Jim Gorrie, a 1984 building science graduate. "We also are pleased to provide support for recruiting faculty members who will continue the school's exceptional construction education."

A portion of the gift will be used to enhance hands-on learning opportunities that enable students to use their construction education to impact their communities through projects focused on community needs. In addition, 75 percent of the Gorries' philanthropic investment will be used to create two endowed professorships within the school for recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty members.


Top 15 New Motorcycles Ridden In 2015 | 
Posted by Don Williams
 On December 31, 2015

It's time to look back at the 2015 calendar year and select my favorite new rides for the year (returning models don't count). Given the release dates of bikes, my Editor's Choice of Top 15 New Motorcycles Ridden in 2015 is a nice combination of later-released 2015s and early 2016s. From custom sport-tourers to dirt bikes to raw naked sportbikes to cruisers, 2015 made it another great year to be Editor of Ultimate MotorCycling.

1. 2016 Motus MST. This motorcycle is magic. For the price of a luxury class tourer (think H-D or Gold Wing), you can have a hand-built American sport-tourer with an incredible V-4 motor. Called the Baby Block by Motus, the liquid-cooled 1650cc pushrod powerplant cranks out a monstrous 123 ft/lbs of torque at just 5000 rpm.


How Coca-Cola United plans to triple its business within three years
on January 09, 2016 

Birmingham Coke bottler Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED put a plan in place about a decade ago to double revenues by now.

Instead, it's in place to triple its revenues by the end of 2017. After several purchases throughout the Southeast, the bottler and distributor will have tripled revenues and cases distributed from the start of 2014; it will have taken employees from 3,000 to 9,500; it will have doubled its production centers and added 27 distribution centers.

Coca-Cola United's territories, including areas it has announced it will acquire but hasn't yet transitioned to operation.Courtesy Coca-Cola United 
The 10-year-old plan was to expand Most of that growth comes from expanded franchise area - Coca-Cola United has made a number of franchise purchases in recent years, starting with Oxford, Alabama, and most recently, Coke's hometown: the Atlanta area. 


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