US: Hyundai plans Alabama plant closures
Hyundai Motor is the latest automaker to announce production cuts in the US.
Its Alabama plant, which began pilot production in 2004, will close between 19 December and 4 January, after buyer demand fell, the automaker told Reuters.
Hyundai's US sales last month were off 39.7% to 19,221 and down just over 10% to 378,000 year to date.
The company initially struggled to get enough volume for the 3000-worker plant, just-auto understands. The 'greenfield' facility - Hyundai's first and only vehicle making facility in the US - was built originally to make the Sonata sedan, a rival for the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, but early sales did not match plant capacity and the Santa Fe SUV was added in 2007.
Toyota yesterday announced more cuts at plants in the US and Canada.
Hyundai US spokesman Robert Burns told Reuters hourly production workers would remain on the payroll during the shutdown while non-production crews would perform maintenance.