Hyundai, Kia running full shifts at their U.S. plants with overtime

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 15, 2011

Unaffected by parts shortages, Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. have been operating full shifts at their U.S. plants with overtime. Meanwhile, the production of its Japan-based rivals has been hurt by the supply chain disruption that resulted from the earthquake in Japan.

Spokesman Robert Burns said that Hyundai's plant in Montgomery, Ala., aims to produce 10% more Sonata and Elantra sedans in 2011 than its 300,000-unit capacity.

Kia spokeswoman Corinne Hodges said that its plant in West Point, Georgia, has run extended weekday shifts and Saturday work since 2010. She added that Kia expects this to continue for the foreseeable future.

Burns said that the company has been “fortunate” that there been no disruption. He added that its suppliers are being closely monitored by its parts development team.

The expansion at Hyundai and Kia is a marked contrast to the assembly reductions imposed by Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. at their plants in North America.

In addition, General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. restricted their production and Chrysler Group LLC called off overtime shifts to conserve supplies of parts.

Michael Robinet, vice president of IHS Automotive, said that it has yet to determine the full extent of the effects to production. He said that about 1.5 million units of auto production may be temporarily lost worldwide due to the damages incurred by Japan-based parts and materials suppliers.

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