After shifting production of Hyundai’s Santa Fe crossover to Kia’s plant in Georgia, it raised its monthly output of 2011 Sonata sedan by 80% from July to August.
Robert Burns, a Hyundai Motor Manufacturing spokesman, said that Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama produced 24,111 Sonata sedans for sale in the US in August while in July, it built only 13,395 units.
The Automotive News Data Center revealed that Hyundai made 16,994 in the first 28 days of August 2009. To coincide with the boost in the production of Sonatas, sales of the mid-sized sedan also had a significant climb.
The Automotive News Data Center reported that Sonata sales in the US totaled 21,399 in August 2010, an 81% increase from 11,815 sold in August 2009.
Meanwhile, Hyundai sold 17,836 Sonatas in July 2010. The production boost is a result of Hyundai’s decision to transfer production of the Santa Fe to a second line at Kia Motors America’s West Point, Ga., assembly plant. Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor explained that Hyundai used the excess capacity to produce more Sonatas.
Burns clarified that in August, Hyundai’s Alabama plant built only 31 Santa Fe crossovers -- one for the US and 30 for Canada. News of plans to move Santa Fe production to Kia’s plant in Georgia first came from Automotive News on Aug. 6.
The transfer gave way for Hyundai to fill a need to enhance US manufacturing capacity. Hyundai is aiming for its dealers to be stocked with the Sonata without having to import cars from South Korea. Sonata’s US sales climbed by 50% through August compared with a year earlier. [via autonews - sub. required]