Hyundai Motor Co. halted production at its Montgomery, Ala., assembly plant Friday in an effort to reduce inventory of unsold Sonata sedans. The plant will close again Friday, Oct. 12, and Oct. 19, Hyundai spokesman Robert Burns said. Further shutdowns have not been determined, he said.
Through the first nine months of 2007, U.S. sales of the Sonata were down 19.6 percent from the year-ago period. Last month, Hyundai sold 6,550 units of the U.S.-produced sedan, compared with 8,870 in September 2006. Average daily production of Sonatas at the Alabama plant fell from 711 vehicles in September 2006 to 429 last month.
This is the first shutdown for the 2-year-old Alabama plant. It employs about 3,300 and has the capacity to build 300,000 vehicles a year.