The new shift will begin in September this year that will increase the capacity at the factory by 20,000 units. The plant, which produces Sonata Sedans and Elantra compact cars, will employ a staff of more than 3,000 after the addition of the new shift.
The news comes when the carmaker reported a profit of 2.45 trillion won ($2.2 billion) in the first quarter, which is up 31 percent compared to the same period a year ago. The faster-than-expected economic recovery in the US is benefiting Hyundai. The profit rise was mainly due to a 15 percent rise in the sales of Accent and Elantra models in the US.
The announcement of additional US production capacity comes at a time when Hyundai's US sales broke an all-time sales record in March 2012. Through March 2012, sales of the Sonata and Elantra sedans have already seen year-over-year sales increase of six percent and eight percent, the company said in a statement.
For nearly two years, the Alabama plant was operating two 10-hour shifts. Last year the plant is reported to have built 338,000 Sonata sedans and Elantra compact cars.
At the same time Hyundai, the world's fifth biggest automaker, is expected to face stiffer competition from its Japanese competitors this year if the yen weakens on the back of further monetary easing.