Cities compete for suppliers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 2, 2002

BNI Newswire

When state officials came calling recently, many communities around Montgomery anted up pledges to help pay for an incentive package to lure Hyundai to Alabama.

Now that the Korean automaker has broken ground on its $1 billion facility in Hope Hull, those same communities will be competing for suppliers for the plant, expected to open in 2005.

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In fact, it seemed the race at least for name recognition was already under way at the ground-breaking two weeks ago, as signs from different cities – including a banner flown overhead by Wetumpka – welcomed the state’s newest industry.

But those signs alone won’t likely get cities a foot in the door. Instead, those communities within a 60-mile radius will be pushing similar advantages – proximity, quality of life and available land, for example.

Many of those cities will be on the list for a visit by Gov. Don Siegelman in coming weeks. This past week, Siegelman announced a new initiative designed to help cities with their economic development efforts so that they can attract Hyundai suppliers.

Some communities, by virtue of their proximity and political ties, might seem guaranteed at least a look.

Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. had a favored seat at the ground-breaking, and towns like Greenville and Clanton are just an Interstate’s drive away from the site of the new facility.