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DAS North America holds grand opening for expanded facility

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

It's no secret, Alabama's automotive industry has been a major source of new jobs in recent years and Friday came another announcement.

DAS North America held a grand opening for it's new 360,000-square-foot facility in Montgomery County. It's an $86 million investment and will employ at least 440 people -- that's double the original expansion plans.

The company builds car seats for the KIA Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe. Currently DAS makes the parts in South Korea and then ships them to Montgomery where workers assemble the seat.

By 2015, every single piece will be made and assembled in this building. Originally the company was located in Hope Hull with about 60 employees, but executives say the great work force here in Montgomery led them to expand.

When speaking about the employees already working for DAS, Chief Operating Officer, James Uhm, said, "they gave us hope that we could add additional people without much problem because the workforce that we have, we've retained and trained, are very capable and they have all the necessary skills to accomplish that. So that's why we were very confident that we can do additional investment and build more projects."

Company executives aren't stopping here. They say land has already been cleared and it's possible the company could easily expand.

"We're looking at beyond Hyundai and Kia and looking to grow. We're confident that DAS can be successful in the future," Uhm said.

We're told wages for these jobs start at $16 an hour. This is the first manufacturing plant in North America for DAS.

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