Hyundai sales are up 10 percent already this year, after ending 2011 on a 20-percent uptick. With its Alabama assembly plant already running over capacity, something had to change. In response, the Korean automaker will be adding 877 jobs at its Montgomery assembly plant to begin a third shift, starting in September 2012.

Hyundai said the plant is now responsible for creating over 3,000 total jobs, with the latest expansion adding some 20,000 units of annual capacity this year. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama builds both the Sonata and Elantra sedans.

While this move will work as a short-term solution to Hyundai's capacity restraints, if the company continues to grow sales as it has in the past few years, it will soon be faced with the necessity of building another new production facility, as has been rumored for months.

Scroll down to read the full press release.

UPDATE: The third shift will actually give Hyundai 20,000 more cars to sell in 2012, but its effect on the plant's annual capacity will be much larger. While Hyundai would not specify what HMMA's total annual capacity running all three shifts would be, we would expect it to hit 385,000. The plant was originally slated to produce 300,000 vehicles, but Hyundai had managed to increase production by an extra 25,000 before adding the third shift.
Show full PR text
HYUNDAI MOTOR MANUFACTURING ALABAMA, LLC ADDING THIRD PRODUCTION SHIFT
Strategy will increase 2012 production capacity by 20,000 units


Montgomery, Ala., April 30, 2012 -- Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLC (HMMA) today announced plans to add a third shift of production at its Montgomery facility. HMMA will add 877 positions to support the addition of the third shift bringing the total number of jobs created at the plant to more than 3,000. HMMA's 2012 production capacity will increase by approximately 20,000 units.

"The continued success of Hyundai's Sonata and Elantra in North America is a direct reflection of the dedication to quality and craftsmanship by every HMMA team member," said Young Deuk Lim, HMMA president and chief executive officer. "This commitment is the key reason Hyundai Motor Company chose to continue to invest in the people of Alabama and increase vehicle production in Montgomery."

The transition to three shifts will begin in September 2012. Job applications and pre-employment training will begin this summer. The hiring process will be facilitated by Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT). The increased volume at HMMA will also create more jobs at nearby suppliers.

HMMA began producing the newly redesigned Sonata in December 2009, and the sedan has consistently been Hyundai's best-selling vehicle. The Alabama-built Sonata represents 33 percent of Hyundai's U.S. sales. The newly redesigned Elantra has been assembled at HMMA since October 2010 and, together with production from Korea, represents 31 percent of Hyundai's U.S. sales. Canadian sales of the Sonata and Elantra account for more than 14 percent of HMMA's annual production.

Hyundai Motor America sales were up 20 percent during 2011. The announcement of additional U.S. production capacity comes as Hyundai's U.S. sales broke an all-time sales record in March 2012. Through March 2012, sales of the Sonata and Elantra sedans have already seen year-over-year sales increase of six percent and eight percent, respectively, which is above the record levels set during 2011.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 79 Comments
      Carlos Cruz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Alabama? Does Hyundai want their executives arrested when they come to visit their plant?
        Haywood
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Carlos Cruz
        Ah, a poor angry latino mad because Alabama upholds the LAW!
          Spies1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Haywood
          So Carlos, you have proper documention right? A driver's license! I see no problem then. Why would the ILLEGAL alien laws affect you. You are not ILLEGAL are you?
          Spies1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Haywood
          BTW Carlos, when the German executive was detained for lack of documentation, how did the "so called" bigotry of the law single him out? What does a German "look like"?
          gop.hates.america
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Haywood
          NICE! People who make comments like Haywood up there just regurgitate what they saw on Fox News.
          Spies1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Haywood
          regionrat, the least educated state in the USA is now California.
          Drew Smith
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Haywood
          Also, he is probably a Honda / Toyota / Nissan / JDM fanboy that is jealous that Hyundai, a Korean company is kicking the Japanese markets 'hindquarters'.
          Carlos Cruz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Haywood
          Not the federal law, just their own bigoted ones.
          Spies1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Haywood
          What "bigoted" laws? How are their laws "bigoted"? What law do you disagree with and WHY?
          Carlos Cruz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Haywood
          Spies 1 The law basically allows law enforcement to check your immigration status based on how "illegal" you look. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/06/alabama-workers-immigration-law_n_997793.html I am an American (PR) and have a spanish name and subsequently have a hispanic look. If I, a US born citizen, were to go to Alabama (or any part of the south for that matter, with exceptions in FL), I would be discriminated against because of my looks.
          Carlos Cruz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Haywood
          Drew Smith "mainstream media's uninformed rhetoric" ; im just going to LOL that. "JDM fanboy that is jealous" ; I hate japanese cars.
          Carlos Cruz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Haywood
          Spies1 I do have a valid license! However, this law will give the police to stop people like me at will because of their "illegal look". The MB exec was stopped because of his plate, not because of how he looked.
        xlthim
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Carlos Cruz
        Their executives are LEGAL, dunce!
      Niggel
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's so eye opening how the South is absorbing all the new manufacturing jobs that find their way into the states. This should be a wake up call to states like IL, Michigan, Ohio, Wis, Minn, Penn,... that are just stuck in their old Union-centric ways... amazing how they have yet to react to the trends. Why should the rest of the US feel sorry for cities like Detroit when they have failed to even help themselves.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Niggel
        [blocked]
          Spies1
          • 2 Years Ago
          LOL, the poor poor south wishes they could have the prosperity of Detroit. Where the very city government is telling people to not even park on the streets. Houses are almost free, and they city is bankrupt. Oh the poor poor south. How will cities like Atlanta, Raleigh...ever rise from the ashes! /end sarcasm.
          straferhoo
          • 2 Years Ago
          Steve, It's all relative on cost of living. $20,000 goes much further in the South than in the North.
          Steve
          • 2 Years Ago
          straferhoo, That is true. But living below the poverty level in the North and South is still bad..... From my experience down there, housing is a little cheaper (compared to my part of Michigan) and gas is a little cheaper..... You can still find VERY cheap housing up here. Trying to stretch $20k a year anywhere in the USA is very tough. The level of eduction (in general) is also poor down south. I have been tried to get lured down there by other companies because they have trouble finding enough engineering talent down there.....
        Spies1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Niggel
        Sadly, with idiots like Nancy Pelosi still in office, the South could be forced into the Mafia labor. Nancy Pelosi said it's better for the new Boeing factory in South Carolina to be shut down if it's not union controlled. Workers at the very plant voted they did NOT want a union. The hit squad for the Unions, (NLRB) has applied the full force of the Obama backed effort to hand over control to his MAFIA pals.
          gop.hates.america
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spies1
          that's interesting. Workers in Wisconsin want a union and their stupid governor tried to ban them. Didn't work out very well for him. GOP wants blue collar workers to work like slaves for 50 cents an hour. If people in Alabama are fine with it, who an I to stop them.
        rlog100
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Niggel
        Those jobs are not a one to one replacement. And Detroits fate has nothing to do with the auto unions. Detroit has been the way it is for almost 40 years, well before there was any signficant employment decline in the area.
        xlthim
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Niggel
        It's called right-to-work... what a concept! And yes, the workers here don't make what union shops do, but consider this, people here are working! Also, cost of living is cheaper here so salaries here go just as far as salaries (if you're lucky enough to be working) up there. Since salaries are lower here, the govt gets less in taxes, so salaries here actually go further than up north!
      Master Austin
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hertz and Enterprise, Rejoice !
        regionrat
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Master Austin
        They'll have to unload all of their Impalas and Focuses first. Why do you haters assume Hyundai has EVER had that level of fleet sales? Does it feel good to just out-and-out lie?
        Rob
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Master Austin
        ..Hyundai has one of the lowest sales percentages to fleet buyers ..around 10% Research before you post your nonsense.
      Zach
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is what a non unionized plant does, build cars, and create jobs.
      darkness
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yay Hyundai thats 900 more Alabamalamadingdongs that can get dem dang dern fancy things us northeners call Shoes......F the south.
      Walt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Five years out Sonata styling is going to look very bad IMHO.
        desinerd1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Walt
        That reminds me - I was looking at a picture of 2009 E class. It looked like a car from early 90s. http://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/mercedes-benz/e-class/2009/oem/2009_mercedes-benz_e-class_sedan_e350-4matic_fq_oem_1_500.jpg
        VDuB
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Walt
        5 years out, I'm sure they will have a model change.
          merlot066
          • 2 Years Ago
          @VDuB
          I don't want to have to buy a new car every two years because the styling is overdone and gaudy. I was blown away with the Sonata when it came out but was thinking "having a mainstream car that looks like that is going to get old after a while" and it's only a year later and I'm really starting to hate seeing them on the road.
          axiomatik
          • 2 Years Ago
          @VDuB
          FYI - The current Sonata has been on sale for over 2 years now. I've always thought the front end was too busy. The proportions and massing are good, but the detailing is just too fussy.
        Hans Uetz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Walt
        really.?..gotta love all the haters comments on here
      nsxrules
      • 2 Years Ago
      Maybe this menas they won't be cutting back on their fleet sales after all?
        regionrat
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nsxrules
        Their fleet sales are lower than Chevy's, Ford's, and Chrysler's. Do a little research next time.
        Darius
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nsxrules
        They had to stop all Elantra fleet sales due to production constraints. The Sonata had to be lowered significantly as well.
      suthrn2nr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hyundai is probably the biggest winner of the "40 mpg HWY" advertising race, while getting the lowest real world mpg compared to competitors. I think the rest of the car (features, value, comfort, etc) is great, but advertising HWY mpg only is a huge lie to consumers. Sure, they might actually get 40mpg HWY, but consumers should give equal or more weight to CITY/COMBINED. And for those that say "buyers are stupid for not looking at both numbers", do you think the salesman at the dealer ever lets the customer take CITY into account? They just trumpet HWY only as well, as if that was the only number that matters. The only time HWY rating matters by itself is if you drive 90%+ at steady 55-65MPH speeds.
        xlthim
        • 2 Years Ago
        @suthrn2nr
        I live about 20 miles from work. Rural roads then 4-lane for the last 5 miles. I get 40 MPG in a Sonata for this route. If I have to run around town (stop & go), it brings me down into the 37/38 MPG range.
        Moreno636
        • 2 Years Ago
        @suthrn2nr
        Its not the Sales person's job to let a customer "take" into account anything. The information is there, if you want a more in depth interpretation on how gas mileage will affect your individual and unique needs....THATS ON YOU.
          suthrn2nr
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Moreno636
          Yea I agree, individuals have the responsibility to find the most complete info... But unfortunately most people dont read Autoblog/Motortrend/Edmunds. They rely on the salesperson and just ask "i heard this gets 40mpg, is that true?", and as a COMMISSION PAY-BASED salesperson is motivated by doing what it takes to make a sale they are not going to say "well the HWY is 40 but the CITY is only 30", instead they will say "Yes, you will get 40mpg from this car." It's harder to make an educated purchase when you have misleading information all around. Even car articles are only quoting HWY numbers now, even though the average consumer drives at least 50% in CITY as well (per EPA statement)
      Spies1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Does that grill double as a potato slicer?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spies1
        [blocked]
      VDuB
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wasn't there a study that Hyundai was the most American brand in the US auto industry? Wish silly billys would know that.
        Steve
        • 2 Years Ago
        @VDuB
        I hope you are joking..... Hyundai imports the Accent, Veloster, Azera, Tucsan, Veracruz and Equus. IHyundia is a Korean company. The majority of their engineering is done in Asia. How could they even be considered "a little" American?
          xlthim
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Steve
          The Sonata and Elantra are engineered in Michigan and California. COMPLETELY built in Alabama. They are more "American" than ANY "American" auto maker (which builds in Mexico and Canada)! I have bought my second Sonata because they are built in Alabama.
          VDuB
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Steve
          You must be new here. http://www.autoblog.com/2010/10/22/hyundai-to-be-most-american-automaker-by-next-year/
        suthrn2nr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @VDuB
        it all depends on the definition of "american"
      darkness
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cross burnings, sweet tea and Hyundai......man i love that jingle.
        darkness
        • 2 Years Ago
        @darkness
        -Remix- Cross burnings, sweet tea, bad haircuts and Hyundai
        VDuB
        • 2 Years Ago
        @darkness
        durrrr deyyyy giving us jobbbbssss. - southpark joke -
      Spies1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is Hyundai still fighting to NOT do the Government issued recall for replacing the defective seat belts in the Sonata?
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