Friday, December 30, 2005
By Steven L. Taylor

Via WTVY in Dothan, AL/the AP: Alabama Courting Kia Plant

A story in this week’s Automotive News said the city of Decatur is one of four sites under consideration for the factory.

Other sites reportedly include Chattanooga, Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and Aiken, South Carolina.


Kia is owned by Hyundai, which has an assembly plant near Montgomery. Mercedez-Benz and Honda also build vehicles in Alabama,
and Toyota has an engine plant in Huntsville.

Alabama will produce about 760-thousand vehicles in 2006, and the industry employs about 50-thousand people in the state.

Hopefully the plant will come to Decatur–the economic impact of the Montgomery area of the Hyundai plant is evidence. And certainly, the state needs more industry.

Indeed, I am often struck how the structure of Alabama’s political economy has certain developing world flavors, not the least of which being the political dominance of land owners and agricultural interested (think: ALFA) despite the fact that they are not the dominant contributor to gross state product.

Nonetheless, many communities around the state would greatly benefit from a major manufacturing plant and the spin-off industries that come along with it. Not only does this infuse jobs, and therefore dollars, into areas that could use them, they also bring change and the chance for exposure to new ways of thinking.

I am also struck by the degree to which companies from what was not that long ago considered a Third World country (South Korea) is the source for economic largesse.

FYI: Decatur is in northern Alabama near Huntsville.

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One Response to “Kia to Bama?”

  1. bryan Says:

    I’m guessing that someone in the government is giving away the store in terms of abatements in order to get these plants. But what do I know, I live in a different third world state. :-)

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