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Hyundai Motor to add third shift, 877 workers at Alabama factory

Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s largest automaker, will add a third shift at its main assembly plant in Montgomery, Alabama to meet rising demand for its vehicles in the U.S.

Capacity at the factory, currently able to build at least 300,000 vehicles a year, will increase by 20,000 units after the increase in shifts that begins in September, the company said today in an e-mailed statement.

The added shift will result in 877 extra workers, raising employment there to more than 3,000, the Seoul-based carmaker said.

Hyundai’s first-quarter U.S. sales rose 15 percent, after surging 61 percent the previous four years, helped by sales of the Elantra and Sonata sedans. John Krafcik, chief executive officer of Hyundai’s U.S. sales unit, has said growth will cool this year because of tight plant capacity.

The Alabama factory built a record 338,000 Sonata sedans and Elantra compact cars last year, and plans to make at least 325,000 vehicles this year, Robert Burns, a spokesman for the plant, said today. The factory has operated two 10-hour shifts for about two years and frequent weekend overtime work. 

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