Hyundai Idles U.S. Production After Worker Falls Ill

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
hyundai idles u s production after worker falls ill

Hyundai Motor America has ceased production at its Montgomery, Alabama assembly plant after a worker tested positive for coronavirus. Unlike the temporary production shutdowns by Honda, Nissan, and the Detroit Three, Hyundai’s idle period seems to be reactionary, not proactive.

That said, the automaker plants to use the downtime to add to its laundry list of measures aimed at protecting workers.

“HMMA is suspending production in all areas, for all shifts, beginning on Wednesday, March 18, 2020,” the automaker stated, without giving an exact timeline on when production will restart.

Home to the Elantra, Santa Fe, and Sonata, HMMA employs just over 3,000 workers.

The company’s Alabama plant “has already deployed additional sanitation measures across the entire facility and will now follow ADPH’s protocols for disinfecting the affected work area,” Hyundai said, adding that it will consult with the CDC and Alabama Department of Public Health to see if there’s anything else it should do.

Already, the automaker was following the sudden industry norm of assigning white-collar employees work-from-home time, with the assembly floor gloor gaining health-related signage and disinfectants. Public tours have been called off and the inflow of visitors restricted. Travel out of the country is forbidden.

Those measures filtered down to things like vehicle reveals (the 2021 Elantra debuted online) and additional prcleaning of its press fleet. Dealers aren’t exempt from coronavirus-fighting measures, either. Besides the usual disinfectant regimen and social distancing practices (no hugs or handshakes; customers and staff maintaining knife-fight distances), dealers stand to gain deferred floorplan interest, increased incentive, “and other accommodations for dealers who finance their floorplan with Hyundai Finance.”

Hyundai succeeded in gaining ground in the U.S. market last year on the strength of new crossover models, leaving the still-recent sales slump in the rear-view. Despite the optimism expressed at the beginning of the year, it’s doubtful anyone at Hyundai HQ expects a continued climb in 2020.

[Image: Hyundai]

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  • Cprescott Cprescott on Mar 19, 2020

    Lots of know it alls - sanitizing the plant would have done nothing if the worker showed no signs and brought the infection from outside. Think, people!

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Mar 19, 2020

    They should shut down it last year. Then no one would be ill. Yeas, shut down the damn thing and never open again - people are dying in that place.

  • 28-Cars-Later I'm actually surprised at this and not sure what to make of it. In recent memory Senator Biden has completely ignored an ecological disaster in Ohio, and then ignored a tragic fire in Hawaii until his handlers were goaded in sending him and his visit turned into it's own disaster, but we skipped nap time for this sh!t show? Seriously? We really are through the looking glass now, "votes" no longer matter (Hillary almost won being the worst presidential candidate since 1984 before he claimed the crown) and outside of Corvette nostalgia Joe doesn't care let alone know what day it happens to be. Could they really be afraid of Trump, who AFAIK has planned no appearance or run his mouth on this issue? Just doesn't make sense, granted this is Clown World so maybe its my fault for trying to find sense in a senseless act.
  • Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)
  • Slavuta Must be all planned. Increase price of cars, urbanize, 15 minutes cities. Be poor, eat bugs
  • Sid SB Not seen a Core without the performance pack yet. Prefer the more understated look of the Core vs the Circuit, but both are great fun to drive.