BMW, Kia plants cancel shifts because of winter storm

UPDATED: 2/12/14 4:17 pm ET - adds Kia shift canceled

BMW and Kia canceled shifts at their U.S. plants today because of severe winter weather in the Southeast.

A winter storm warning is in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday for the area, with snow and ice potentially causing power outages and treacherous roadways.

BMW's decision to cancel the "A" shift "was made to protect the safety of our employees as they drive from various areas of Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina," said Sky Foster, a spokeswoman for BMW Manufacturing in Spartanburg, S.C.

BMW Manufacturing in Spartanburg is the company's only North American factory and is the company's sole global source of X3, X5 and X6 crossovers.

Kia Motors' assembly plant in West Point, Ga., planned to cut its second shift short at 5 p.m. ET today and cancel the third shift for this evening due to weather-related parts shortages.

The first shift is expected to report as usual tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., but the company will continue to monitor the weather. The Georgia plant manufactures the Optima, Sorento and Santa Fe models.

Other auto plants in the Southeast are operating, but also are monitoring the weather and may make production changes as the conditions develop.

You can reach Sean Gagnier at