Hyundai Motor Co. wants to post a 4.7-percent surge in sales in the United States in 2015 to 760,000 vehicles, more than double the expected industry growth rate of 2 percent. Hyundai has seen sales of the Elantra slowed in the US no thanks to the continued shift to less fuel-efficient larger vehicles like SUVs and pickups.
According to the South Korean carmaker, it targets to roll out its revamped Tucson SUV in the US in the second quarter. It saw its sales jump just 1 percent last year after climbing 3 percent in 2013. Hyundai, however, managed to eke out a 4.3-percent leap in sales in the first two months of 2015 to 97,010 vehicles.
Overall sales of light vehicles in the US jumped 9.2 percent in the same period. Ko Tae-bong, an auto analyst at Hi Investment & Securities, remarked that Hyundai’s target growth this year is challenging since it has not many SUVs to sell in the US.
He added that supply is tight for Hyundai's SUVs since the carmaker does not build the Tucson in the US and depends on Kia's US site for output of Santa Fe SUVs. Last week, Reuters reported that the carmaker is in discussions with the state of Alabama to build a new assembly line next to its current line in the state.
A person privy with the matter told Reuters that the new Hyundai production facilities will be home to Santa Fe SUVs. Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo is currently on a five-day trip in North America visiting factories and design centers for both Hyundai and Kia, as well as the site of Kia's new production site in Monterey, Mexico.
He remarked that Hyundai should produce Tucson SUVs and pickups in the US to hike market share and cut its dependence on sedan sales.