March will see Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors reduce working on weekends and holidays as the South Korean automakers try to grapple with a shortage of automotive semiconductors by slowing production, causing concerns that the production of “IONIQ5,” Hyundai Motor’s first vehicle equipped with an electric global modular platform (E-GMP), might also be affected.
According to the automotive industry on Sunday, the car manufacturer has decided to close its Ulsan plant on Monday and most weekends of the month as a result of the semiconductor shortage. Hyundai used to keep the plant open on weekends and holidays to meet demand for popular models such as the Palisade and the Genesis.
Ulsan plant 2 for the GV70 and GV80, plant 3 for Avante and Venue, and plant 5 for the G90, G80, G70, Nexo and Tucson have been shut down some of its production lines on weekends throughout March or will review the circumstances and update the schedule every week.
The first production line of plant 4, which produces the Palisade, will be open only on March 6 and 13, while production will be put on hold on all weekends in March at the second line that produces the Porter and other models. Kia’s Gwangju plant 3 will also be shut down on weekends throughout the month. Its plant in Hwaseong announced that there will not be work on weekends and holidays in March because semiconductors are in short supply.
“Weekend work schedules are usually updated on a monthly basis, and switching it to a weekly basis is a sign of the severity of the situation,” said a source from the auto industry. “GM Korea reduced weekend work last month before cutting promotion at its Bupyeong plant 2. It is likely that shutting down plants on weekends will not solve the problem for Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors.”
It has become inevitable that the shortage will hit the South Korean automakers although they have secured enough automotive semiconductors for the first quarter and focused on production of models in high demand. Hyundai Motor’s plant in Russia, HMMR, is currently considering delaying the mass production of small SUV Creta. Other global automobile companies such as Toyota, Volkswagen, Stellantis, Ford, Renault, Subaru, Nissan, Honda and Mazda have also been affected by the shortage. It is reported that Tesla has paused the production of “Model 3” for the past two weeks in the United States.