Hyundai Motor Co. will be investing in trucks and crossovers in order to resolve production constraints amid expectations that for the first time since 1988, the automaker’s market share in the U.S. will decline. In the first half of 2012, Hyundai performed better than Ford Motor Co.'s namesake brand in car sales to retail buyers, according to U.S. unit CEO John Krafcik during an event in Brooklyn, Mich.
The new 2013 Santa Fe sport-utility vehicle has only recently started production. Krafcik said that the brand will have a “pretty good future going forward” if it can find a way to resolve its problems with capacity and if it could make investments on trucks and crossovers.
Researcher Autodata Corp. said that for the first six months of 2012, Hyundai’s share in the U.S. car and light-truck was 4.9%, a drop from the previous year’s 5.1%. Krafick said last February that the U.S. gains of the automaker may slow this year due to tight production capacity and Chairman Chung Mong Koo's thrust to enhance quality. Its market share in the U.S. declined; its sales gain the first half of 10% fell behind the industry's 15% gain.
For the first six months, Hyundai sold a record-breaking 356,669 vehicles. It will boost production at its assembly plant in Alabama later this year. This September, the Montgomery, Ala., factory will add a third shift in order to boost its capacity by 20,000 units this year. Presently, this plant rolls out at least 300,000 Sonata sedans and Elantra small cars annually.