Normally, when one thinks of ‘Bloody Sunday’, Selma, Alabama, which is approximately 50 miles outside the state capital, Montgomery, comes to mind.
However, just over a month ago, the city of Selma, also known as the birthplace of the Voting Rights Movement, was infused with some new energy, a personal visit by black car designer Andre Hudson. Hudson, in case you weren’t aware, is responsible for designing the current-generation, hot-selling Sonata. Yes, this vehicle looks like it was influenced by a person of color, with its free-flowing sexy lines. Hudson also had a hand in designing the Sonata’s little sister, the Elantra, both which are being built at Hyundai’s Manufacturing Plant in Montgomery.
Hudson and I teamed-up for what would be considered a first in the auto industry. We decided to take the auto industry literally to school. This was achieved by spending a few days with the students of Selma High School, inspiring them to enlarge their vision as it relates to finding their calling, while at the same time educating them about the financial (and social mechanics) of selecting the right vehicle by looking beyond, the design, the price and the payments from my copyrighted car-buying literacy clinic. Thanks to Hudson’s commitment to education we were able to make this happen.
Also due to Hudson adding a splash of swag-appeal to the once conservative styled Sonata, the midsize family sedan now ranks up there in sales with the Camry and the Altima. In fact, the ultra-popular 2013 redesigned Altima was delayed, according to Nissan officials, in order to make sure it was on par with Hudson’s stylishly designed Sonata. Now, this is a first! It’s definitely a sign of the times, when folks are looking to Hyundai for design cues.
Moreover, the two vehicles in which Hudson has had a hand in designing, which are both being built in Montgomery, helped to put a lot of folks to work in this volatile economy (and foremost have made a boat load of money for the Korean automaker, their dealers and their suppliers). It was reported recently that the Montgomery auto plant will be adding a third-shift soon, employing at minimum 800 more folks.
So, not only has Hudson’s ‘keen eye for design’ afforded opportunities in the state with both the plant employees, which are mainly being built by people of color, he’s also affected the livelihood of the Korean automaker suppliers too, both in Alabama and around the globe.
Furthermore, having Hudson in town, connecting with the young brothers and sisters at the predominately African American high school will help to reshape the students’ image of African American males. So many times the media only focus on the negative aspects of this population group. Hudson’s presence shows what can be done, when you’re truly living out your dreams.
Besides that, unlike the handful of other black auto designers in the industry, which is an extremely competitive field, Hudson became the first one to work for a Korean automotive company, after leaving GM under the leadership of Ed Welburn, who helped to pave the way for today’s handful of young African American car designers. Also earlier this year Hudson had a hand in hiring the Hyundai’s second African American designer.
Nevertheless, due to this and other factors, Wednesday, May 9, 2012, was proclaimed as ‘Andre Hudson Day,’ by Mayor Evans and the city of Selma, a well-deserved honor indeed.
So, the next time you pass the current-generation Sonata, Elantra and the Genesis Coupe and the redesigned Azera on the road, remember the name Andre Hudson. He’s the extremely cool, young brother that makes the community extremely proud to be behind the wheel of this Korean brand. To check out Hudson’s live video interview, recapping his historic visit to Selma, Alabama, click here.
Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to JeffCars.com. Follow him http://twitter.com/#!/JeffCars/.
2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
2 of 30
3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
3 of 30
4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
4 of 30
5. Jus haaaanngin out
5 of 30
6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
6 of 30
7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
7 of 30
8. new new
8 of 30
9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
9 of 30
10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
10 of 30
11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
11 of 30
12 of 30
13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
13 of 30
14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
14 of 30
15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
15 of 30
16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
16 of 30
17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
17 of 30
18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
18 of 30
19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
19 of 30
20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
20 of 30
21 of 30
22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
22 of 30
23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
23 of 30
24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
24 of 30
25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
25 of 30
26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
26 of 30
27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
27 of 30
28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
28 of 30
29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
29 of 30
30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
30 of 30
Continue reading Selma’s Mayor Gives Young, Black Car Designer His Own Day