Hyundai considering Elantra production in the U.S.

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

While Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd. admits that US production of the Elantra is being considered, it says that it has yet to decide on the plan. According to Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo, Hyundai will produce the Elantra in its Montgomery, AL, plant starting April 2011, with a target of 150,000 units annually.

The paper also said that a new version of the Santa Fe cross/utility vehicle to replace the current model being built in Montgomery will be moved to Kia Motors Corp.'s new operation in West Point, GA. A Hyundai spokesman responded to these press reports.

He said that to date, there is no official confirmation of Elantra being manufactured in the US. The current Elantra being sold in the US is known as the Avante in Korea and is built at Hyundai's plant in Ulsan, South Korea.

The Elantra is recognized to be Hyundai's most-successful export vehicle. In 2009, 103,000 units were shipped to the US. Hyundai's newest factory in Beijing makes the Elantra Yuedong, a Chinese version of the Avante.

Reports say that the US-built Elantra will use Hyundai's newly developed Nu 2.0 CVVL engine, which would be exported to the US from one of Hyundai Wia Co. Ltd.'s two engine plants in China's Shandong province.

Currently, these plants make Alpha 1.5L and 1.6L DOHC engines, mostly exported to Russia, India and Turkey. The 1.4L and 1.6L Gamma engines are also made here while the Nu 2.0 CVVL mill is made elsewhere.

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