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Five years of success for Selma auto suppliers

Michael Alexander hangs the finished foam seats on a conveyor belt at Renosol Seating on Thursday. -- Chris Wasson photo

By Chris Wasson | Selma Times-Journal

It’s been five years of progress.

Five years since three Hyundai suppliers: Hanil E-Hwa, Kyungshin-Lear Sales and Engineering, and Renosol Seating started providing jobs in Selma.

“Hyundai Motor Manufacturers in Alabama shattered its monthly production record in June by making more than 30,000 vehicles,” said Wayne Vardaman, executive director of Economic Development Authority. “We are seeing the impact here because suppliers are having to gear up, too.”

Vardaman said the companies brought about 500 employees when they came into town.

“During this period of time, we are very fortunate that we recruited these industries here,” said Vardaman. “Because these industries are growing, which during this period of time very few segments of manufacturing can say that.”

Connie Messer, human resources and safety manager for Renosol Seating said the past five years have been positive for Renosol.

“The work force has been one of the best, I think,” said Messer. “When we first started here, the Renosol Corporation had three other sites as well. I dare say that we had the best work force out of all the facilities.”

Renosol employs 100 workers and creates the foam seats that are installed into Hyundai vehicles.

Messer said the city has worked well with Renosol.

“It has been a wonderful working relationship,” said Messer. “From the beginning they have supported us, and when we have needed something, they have been there.”

Hanil E-Hwa employs 205 workers at their factory, which produces interior door panels for the Hyundai Sonata and Hyundai Santa Fe.

“We had a little bit of turnover at first,” said Phyllis Andrews, senior manager of finance and human resources for Hanil E-Hwa. “Now we know what to look for when we hire. Now our work force is very good.”

Renosol and Hanil E-Hwa have had so much success that both companies said they are taking applications for more employees.

“The Sonata is selling very well and we are having to keep up with demand,” said Andrews.

Messer said she hoped her company would continue to grow through the next five years.

“When we first began we purchased 12-acres so our facility can grow,” said Messer. “So we have plenty of room to expand. We are constantly bidding on new business and hoping that eventually that we will land what we need to land to grow.”

With the continuing growth of Hyundai and the support of Selma, these suppliers can look forward to five more years of progress.