MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Nearly a dozen international automakers faced down the challenge of building cars in the United States before Hyundai Motor Corp. ever set foot in Alabama. But Hyundai had a different challenge:
The Korean automaker needed to begin manufacturing in one of the world's most expensive markets without losing its ability to price vehicles below those of its Japanese competitors.
Its solution was a $1.1 billion auto plant. The factory opened last month in Montgomery.
The plant relies on a combination of modular outsourcing and high automation to hold down costs. There's also a substantial amount of local content to reduce transportation costs.
Once running at full throttle, Montgomery will produce 300,000 Sonata sedans and Santa Fe SUVs a year. And those vehicles will use V-6 engines made on the premises.