The rising demand for the all-new Tucson crossover has led to Hyundai Motor Co.'s decision to ramp up production at its Ulsan, South Korea, factory, in March, according to US chief John Krafcik said.
At the National Automobile Dealers Association convention, Krafcik, who is CEO of Hyundai Motor America, had said that the new-generation Tucson, which has a sportier body design and drivetrain and was introduced last December, is meant to attract singles and young couples. In January, Hyundai's US retailers saw a 128% year-over-year improvement.
Krafcik anticipates a huge jump this year; however, he didn't disclose projections. US demand for the Tucson dropped to just a little over 15,000 last year, from the 2006 figure of 52,000.
Hyundai's plans to raise production of the Tucson were prompted by a low dealer inventory. Krafcik said that the company will continue to raise its production in order to satisfy market demand.
Another interesting tidbit that Krafcik said was that Hyundai has gained the most from Toyota Motor Corp.'s recall dilemma compared to other brands.
At an American International Automobile Dealers Association luncheon, Krafcik said that many customers look at Hyundai and Toyota together, and "much more frequently than before, they're picking Hyundai." In January, Hyundai posted a 24% gain while Toyota-brand sales plunged 19%.