Buoyed up by the demand for its Sonata and Elantra models, Hyundai Motor Co. estimates that the rise in production capacity will lead to record sales of at least 600,000 cars and light trucks in the U.S. in 2011.
Mike O’Brien, Hyundai’s vice president for U.S. corporate and product planning, said that Hyundai was able to secure production capacity, making him confident that it can exceed sales of 600,000 units. Last January, Hyundai said that it doesn’t have sufficient production capacity to get to this level of U.S. sales.
But since this statement, it has increased output at its Montgomery, Ala., plant that builds Sonatas and Elantras. O’Brien also said that the supply of the new Accent subcompact from South Korea will be bigger than the initial plans.
Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. are two of the fastest-growing car companies in the U.S. in 2011, with sales increases of 29% and 45%, respectively, through May.
Hyundai and Kia are quickly adding models that offer better styling and fuel economy to entice consumers away from rivals like Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., which are faced with the challenge of getting their supply back to typical levels.
From January to May in 2011, Hyundai had U.S. sales of 263,588 vehicles. At this rate, Hyundai could sell over 630,000 in 2011. Last year, it made deliveries of 538,228 cars and light trucks.