No Sleep ‘Til Sonata: Hyundai Adds Third Shift at Alabama Plant

One of the continued themes we’ve been hearing from Hyundai is this: the company’s Elantra and Sonata models are massively successful, but the success is being tempered by production limitations. Hyundai is looking to loosen some of these limits by adding a third shift to the Alabama plant that makes both of them.

The move is pretty simple: Hyundai will hire an additional 877 workers to the lines at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) plant in Montgomery, Alabama, upping its total employment rolls at the facility to 3000. The third shift will increase capacity of the plant by some 20,000 units.

Though the increase in capacity would barely cover one month of Sonata sales, the plant’s capacity with just two shifts is already about 325,000 units. Then again, the average Hyundai Elantra spent just 11 days on dealer lots before being sold in the first quarter of this year–any gains in production capacity would likely benefit the brand.

Hyundai isn’t alone in upping its production limits: Chrysler’s Jefferson North plant will skip its two-week summer shutdown this July to keep making Dodge Durangos and Jeep Grand Cherokees, says the Detroit Free Press. That’s on top of the current overtime schedule, as Jefferson North employees already work two out of three Saturdays to keep up with demand. That’s probably a move for the best, considering that year-to-date sales of the SUVs are up 33 and 44 percent, respectively and Maserati will be adding its upcoming Kubang SUV to the line in the near future.

Sources: Hyundai, Detroit Free Press

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