hyundai badge elantra

Hyundai has been on a consistent sales tear for many months, and that means additional production isn't far behind. Automotive News reports the Korean automaker will invest $173 million to modify and expand its Alabama engine plant. The expansion, which will make room for a new engine for the Hyundai Elantra, could be completed by March, 2012, and it will require Hyundai to add 214 much-needed jobs.

The expanded engine plant is good news for all parties involved, and according to AN, the good news could soon become even better. Sources claim Hyundai has had informal discussions regarding a new U.S. plant with at least three states in the Southeast. Hyundai CFO Lee Won-hee reportedly added fuel to the fire last month, saying that if the auto market continued to improve, Hyundai could consider building a second U.S. factory. South Carolina and Mississippi are reported to be among the states involved in early negotiations.

Hyundai's sales have jumped by 31 percent so far in 2011, yet Hyundai CEO John Krafcik added that the only thing stopping sales from improving more are capacity restraints. We're guessing that even if Hyundai doesn't build another plant in the U.S., the Korean automaker will add another assembly plant somewhere else in North America.