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Hyundai, Kia restart U.S. plants for one shift

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Hyundai reopened its manufacturing plant in Montgomery, Ala., on Monday, and corporate sibling Kia did the same in West Point, Ga., with both automakers keeping the plants to a single shift for now as they adjusted to supply chains affected by the coronavirus and new safety procedures.

One reason for the slow start at the Hyundai plant was so that team members could validate new safety protocols and make adjustments as necessary, a spokesman said. The plant had been closed since March 18, when a worker tested positive for the coronavirus.

Another consideration in opening with a single shift was parts availability, the spokesman said. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama makes the Sonata midsize sedan, the Elantra compact sedan and the Santa Fe midsize crossover.

One state over in Georgia, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia reopened its doors to workers making the Telluride three-row crossover, the midsize Sorento crossover and the Optima sedan. The plant had been closed since March 30. The automaker cited supply chain concerns.

“Due to the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our supply chain, KMMG will limit production operations to one shift,” Kia said in a statement.

The Telluride has been in short supply since its was introduced just over a year ago. The Hyundai Palisade, built on the same platform as the Telluride, is made in Korea but has also suffered from tight supplies in the U.S.due to strong consumer demand and manufacturing complications from the coronavirus pandemic.

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