Hyundai Motor Co. is still expecting to post a 4.4-percent sale growth in the United States in 2013, despite capping its global production capacity at around 7 million vehicles annually. Hyundai’s North American chief executive John Krafcik admitted that the carmaker’s share of the US market fell as it restricts global output to ensure that vehicle quality remains high.
Krafcik said that to keep up with demand, Hyundai is operating its sites 24-7, on three shifts and at maximum overtime. He added that the South Korean carmaker’s decision to limit output has led "110 percent" to the capacity constraints. He remarked that for now, Hyundai has taken “a couple-of-year pause," adding that he cannot say when it will end. Hyundai disclosed in May 2013 that it was mulling building new assembly sites outside South Korea.
According to analysts, labor disputes in South Korean and the rising local currency could prompt Hyundai to build more vehicles abroad.
Hyundai, however, said it has no immediate plans to build another plant in the US. Hyundai posted only a 1.9-percent gain in sales in June 2013 in a US market that grew 9 percent in the month.
Krafcik remarked that Hyundai’s sales in the US are on pace to reach 734,000 cars and sport utility vehicles, with a market share on route for 4.7 percent. In 2012, the South Korean carmaker sold 703,007 vehicles and held a 4.9-percent share of the US market. [source: Reuters]