At the end of June, I flew to Montgomery, Alabama for the first time to visit the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama plant. This is the first Hyundai assembly & manufacturing plant in the US, and is also hailed as one of the most advanced. I was eager to get behind the scenes and see how their cars are put together – from start to finish!
Our group loaded into golf carts, donning safety glasses and a headset with an audio tour.
Although HMMA is open to the public for reserved tours, photography is usually prohibited; but since we were members of the media, they allowed us to bring our cameras inside to capture a rare glimpse inside the plant!
The tour starts at the stamping shop and winds through the welding and paint shops before stopping at general assembly, test track, and the engine shop.
As we wound through the plant, we saw the employees working on each stage of the vehicle. We also saw some of the areas they have inside the plant for everyone who works at the plant, including a gym and cafeteria. The HMMA plant workers are rotated out of their post in the assembly line all through the day and switched to different tasks, which is done to prevent both repetitive stress injuries as well as boredom.
The employees work side-by-side with robotic machinery, which was really something to behold. We all know that the technology which goes into modern manufacturing is very complex, but you don’t often see it with your own eyes. Watching the robots at work was one of my favorite parts of the tour – check out this video I took during the tour. It looked like a scene out of The Matrix to me:
These little transport robots drive around the plant carrying parts:
As we finished our tour, we came to an assembly line filled with brand new 2015 Hyundai Sonatas. From here, we got into one of the cars and drove it fresh off the plant with nothing but a map guiding us to a mysterious location for lunch.
The assembly line literally started moving under my feet right after this photo was taken, so we quickly hopped into the car before it rolled away! 😉 I drove the first leg of our journey, and I can’t think of a bigger adventure than stepping into a freshly-made car anddriving it off the assembly line into the countryside in a state I’ve never visited before!
I have so many fun stories to share from our big road trip adventure, so stay tuned tomorrow for part two of my Alabama adventures with Hyundai!