Hyundai Considering Second US Plant
Hyundai are already building the Sonata and the redesigned Elantra, that won’t go on sale for a few months, at is American plant in Montgomery, Alabama. Additionally, Santa Fe SUV production was moved to Kia’s facility in West Point, Georgia, in order to make room for more Sonata capacity.
"To be honest, we don't know how high is up on Sonata because we can't build enough, and Elantra is going to be an even hotter vehicle than Sonata was last year," Zuchowski said.
Last year, the carmaker retailed about 540,000 vehicles in the US, up 24 percent from a year before. Hyundai’s head of sales, Dave Zuchowski, believes the figure could reach around 600,000 this year, so the Korean automaker is seriously considering expanding its production capacity with another plant to meet growing demand.
"That's something that we're going to look at. We'll look at how we do in 2011 and make our decision probably after this year,” John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America CEO, said last week at the Detroit auto show, according to Automotive News.
The Alabama facility, which built 300,500 vehicles last year, are already working at full capacity. Two 10-hour shifts are being run five days a week, while weekend shifts take place "whenever possible," Krafcik also said.