Hyundai plans 3rd shift at Alabama factory to lift Sonata, Elantra output
Plant's 2012 capacity to rise by 20,000, automaker says
LOS ANGELES -- Hyundai Motor Co. -- moving to boost supplies of the Sonata mid-sized sedan and compact Elantra -- plans to add a third production shift at its plant in Montgomery, Ala., starting in September.
An extra 20,000 vehicles will roll off the plant's assembly line by year end as a result of the additional shift, the automaker said Monday.
Hyundai said it will hire 877 workers to staff the shift, boosting employment at the plant to more than 3,000 workers.
The announcement comes as Hyundai strives to boost U.S. retail sales by 100,000 vehicles this year, despite vehicle inventories that are among the leanest in the industry.
"It's definitely going to help us get there," said John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motor America.
Hyundai's U.S. sales have climbed 15 percent to 163,573 units this year through March. Sales of the Sonata, Hyundai's top-selling model, have climbed 6 percent this year. Demand for the Elantra, the automaker's second best-selling model, has jumped 8 percent.
Krafcik said the company had no plans to add an additional vehicle at the Alabama plant. Last year, Hyundai built 338,127 vehicles at the factory.
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