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After an employee committed suicide at a Hyundai plant in Korea, the company reports that it has resumed production.
The employee of Hyundai’s South Korea factory accused the company of “suppressing the labor movement,” forcing the company to shut down on Thursday and meet with labor officials. An agreement was made with the union, and the plant will resume building the Sonata and Korean-market Grandeur (what we once got as the Azera).
“We have resumed production from 6:15 AM today and will do Saturday and Sunday works as previously planned,” said a union official.
In the hubub surrounding the Hyundai Sonata and Hyundai Genesis, the Hyundai Azera gets overlooked as neither fish nor fowl. The full-size front driver has fallen off the map.
Evidently, there is still a market for the Azera, and the latest generation has just been launched in Korea as the (appropriately named) Grandeur. The new Azera is two inches longer than the outgoing model, and receives the new 3.8L Lambda V6 to replace the current car’s 3.3L unit that’s become antiquated after spending far too long on the market.
The Azera’s sharp new styling could make it a pretty potent competitor to cars like the Ford Taurus and the Toyota Avalon, which may put driving enthusiasts to sleep, but have a substantial following among people looking for something to eat up highway miles during long-distance driving. Look for the new Azera sometime in 2012.
The Hyundai Azera has been lost amid the deafening praise for the company’s mid-size Sonata and luxurious Genesis and Equus large cars. While the Azera was briefly Hyundai’s top dog, but now occupies a strange spot as Hyundai’s premium sedan for people who don’t like rear-wheel drive.
But with the Sonata now moving to a strictly 4-cylinder engine lineup, the Azera can now occupy the 6-cylinder front-drive sedan slot. No details have been released regarding powertrains, but the corporate 3.8L Lambda V6 is the most obvious candidate. Styling is in the same vein as Hyundai’s new Elantra and Sonata, which will likely pave the way for a new “corporate look” for the automaker’s lineup.
Gallery: New Hyundai Azera
Hit the jump for the official press release