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HYUNDAI SANTA CRUZ TO BE BUILT AT MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA PLANT 

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) announced the Santa Cruz compact utility vehicle will join the Santa Fe SUV and the Sonata and Elantra sedans at Hyundai’s U.S. automotive assembly plant in Montgomery, starting in 2021. The Santa Cruz was first introduced as a concept at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The plant will require a $410 million expansion to support the addition of the vehicle. This includes additional space in the stamping, welding and parts processing areas of the manufacturing complex. Direct employment will increase by 200 jobs and local suppliers and logistics companies who support HMMA are projected to employ an additional 1,000 people in Montgomery and the River Region.

“Bringing the Santa Cruz to HMMA demonstrates that Hyundai Motor Company is confident our more than 3,000 Team Members are ready to build a quality crossover for the U.S. market,” said Byungjin Jin, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.

Santa Cruz is for those who want all the traditional attributes of a compact utility vehicle, but need the day-to-day versatility of an open bed. It’s the crossover that creates a whole new segment that successfully combines capability and utility to meet the unspoken needs of a new generation of buyers, especially Millennials.

“Alabama and Hyundai have developed a great partnership over the years, and it’s a testament to our special relationship that this world-class automaker is expanding once again in Montgomery,” Governor Ivey said. “Hyundai’s new investment is giving more Alabama families an opportunity to earn a good living while also strengthening the state’s growing auto industry.”


RAM INTRODUCES NEW ‘BUILT TO SERVE EDITION’ TRUCKS 

Ram Truck will honor the five service branches of the United States Armed Forces with a series of “Built to Serve Edition” trucks.

Each of the five U.S. military service branches will be honored by Ram with two specially selected exterior paint colors that evoke the spirit, the mission and history of that service. One of each branch’s “Built to Serve Edition” models will be offered in a new low-volume paint option exclusive to this program.

A new “Built to Serve Edition” model, representing another one of America’s land, air or sea-based military branches, will launch approximately every three months. Ram “Built to Serve Edition” trucks feature other unique interior and exterior features that set them apart, including a United States flag and Built to Serve decal on each of the rear quarter panels.

The “Built to Serve Edition” trucks get additional stylish exterior cues, including 20-inch aluminum wheels with a unique-to-the-edition Technical Gray finish. Body-color wheel flares also accent the exterior.

Each of the new Ram front ends gets a unique treatment consisting of an all-black grille and surround, black bumpers and black-bezel premium lighting. Complementing the look are black badges, black wheel-to-wheel side steps and dual four-inch black exhaust tips.

Inside, each of the five branches of “Built to Serve” Ram trucks is accented with unique, corresponding color stitching: Light Frost, Light Ambassador Blue, Light Diesel Gray, Core Green or Orange.

As part of the Built to Serve initiative, Ram is bringing further attention to its volunteer initiative called Ram Nation. Ram Nation has been organizing grassroots volunteer events since 2015 and, through the launch of the “Built to Serve Edition” trucks, is reinforcing its commitment to recognizing those who serve our nation and our communities.


FORD PERFORMANCE AND SEMA GARAGE TEAM UP WITH JAY LENO TO RESTORE, UPGRADE CLASSIC 1968 BRONCO ON DISPLAY AT SEMA

In terms of gag gifts, it was a good one – perfect, in fact, for a classic car enthusiast. Now years later, it will finally get the attention it deserves.

The 1968 Ford Bronco wagon was left for Jay Leno as a joke, arranged by fellow late-night TV host Craig Ferguson to be parked in Leno’s spot on the eve of his last taping. Ferguson was unaware of the iconic status of the Bronco – and had no idea how highly sought after these models are. But long-time car collector Leno knew. He happily accepted the gift which ended up sitting in his garage unrestored until recently.

Ford Performance worked with some of the industry’s restoration all-stars to bring that Bronco back to its former glory – and then some. The Bronco has been outfitted with the heart of the all-new Mustang Shelby GT500, the most-powerful street legal Ford ever.

Ford Performance engaged the expertise of noted Bronco licensee Kincer Chassis to help restore the vehicle – Kincer built the chassis and installed the powertrain, including the aforementioned Ford Performance 5.2-liter supercharged V8 engine.

Dennis Carpenter Ford Restoration Parts provided body panels, while SEMA Garage contributed its technical expertise in computer-aided design, 3D printing and calibration work. LGE-CTS Motorsports, the award-winning and women-owned shop, revived the body with new sheet metal, custom body mods, paint, and final assembly.

“Bronco was an iconic vehicle that was many things to many people,” said Leno, now host of Jay Leno’s Garage on CNBC. “The Bronco was bought to use on the farm or to take your date to the prom and was comfortable in any of these environments. The idea of having a classic Bronco upgraded with modern handling, performance and braking really makes it the best of both worlds.”

The 1968 Bronco wagon will be seen on an upcoming episode of Jay Leno’s Garage on CNBC and will be showcased in detail on Jay Leno’s Garage on YouTube.

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