Hyundai Motor employees resumed production of the Kona sport utility vehicle on Tuesday, putting a near two-day strike to an end, which was over the company’s decision to extend the model’s output prior its launch in the United States.
The South Korean automaker has stopped preparations for now to produce the Kona on a second assembly line at one of its regional factories. Employees worry the production plans will lead to less assembly line employees as a result of more automation and the outsourcing of task to parts makers.
The Kona is an essential model for Hyundai which is wanting to reverse a sales downturn in the United States. It is presently offered in South Korea and Europe.
A Hyundai spokesperson stated the conflict would not affect its plan to introduce the Kona in the United States in the first quarter of next year. The company prepares to continue the conversations with the union about commencing deal with a second assembly line, she added.
The automaker has said it intends to begin Kona shipments to the United States from December 1, however a union representative said this schedule could be pushed back depending upon the result of the discussions about how finest to increase production of the model.
Hyundai has alleged the union of making “irrelevant demands” such as demnands for additional windows in the factory as part of the discussions.
Hyundai Motor’s worldwide sales dropped 6 percent from January to September compared to the same period a year previously, as an absence of SUV models hit sales in the United States market and a diplomatic row between South Korea and China harmed sales in China.