Alabama governor Kay Ivey and other elected officials joined Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama management and staff to celebrate the 'grand opening' of HMMA's new cylinder head machining plant.

The additional plant is the third facility at HMMA to support production of around 650,000 engines a year. The automaker spent $388m to manufacture cylinder heads and on other equipment to "enhance existing operations to support the production of new Sonata and Elantra sedan models".

This latest investment also created 50 additional jobs.

Hyundai president and CEO Dong Ryeol Choi said when plans for the new engine plant were announced in 2018: "Hyundai is continuing its track record of investing in new manufacturing technologies to ensure the long term success of our US assembly plant."

The Alabama engine plants will now produce two new four cylinder engines for the locally made redesigned 2020 Sonata sedan: the Smartstream 2.5-litre Gasoline Direct Injection (DDI) and the Smartstream 1.6-litre Turbo Gasoline Direct Injection (TGDI) motor. These engines offer world class fuel efficiency and reliability, the automaker claimed, and would be built "using enhanced technology for high precision machining and manufacturing".

The new, 260,000 square foot building was constructed using advanced techniques such as the inclusion of isolation pads for equipment which will lead to more precise machining.