Hyundai reiterates 4.4% US sales growth in 2013

Article by Anita Panait, on July 16, 2013

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.

Hyundai is known for being experts when it comes to interior packaging. Combined with a sleek design, it results in an interior that is able to offer practicality, functionality, and comfort, which are the top of the segment. In most models, the smooth roofline is generally made up of the interior volume and the headroom. However, for the Hyundai Sonata, interior volume is at 120.2 cubic feet, making it larger than even its rivals.

The amount of space is large enough that it remains to be classified as a Large car by the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA. This makes the Sonata a “class above” the rest as the Altima, Malibu, Fusion, and Camry, are all classified as Midsize cars. The Sonata even has the advantage when it comes to the trunk room, the total space of which measures 16.4 cubic feet.

This is 17.1% better compared to the Accord and larger by 9.3% versus the Camry. On the outside, the Sonata’s exterior is long, low, and light. Because it has a high beltline, it made it possible to have a sleek and long roofline that is highlighted by a third window. The monoform side profile meanwhile has those flowing lines which are emphasized by the brand’s trademarked chrome accent that goes across the length of this vehicle.

In other cars, this kind of trim is typically seen around its windows. For the Sonata though, it starts from the headlamps, goes up on the hood and all the way to the beltline. Its face is not only bold but reveals that powerful chrome grille, as well as headlamps, which manages to integrate those precise details. Rounding out the stance is the choice of the 16-inch multi-spoke wheels, the 17-inch version, or even the 18-inch wheels.

Whatever sophistication the exterior shows, this can also be experienced on the interior. The main reason is that the brand was able to get that upscale atmosphere due to the flow-through instrument panel and center console. The flowing surfaces have two benefits with the first being that it is able to wrap around not only the driver but even the passengers. Second is that the flowing surfaces match the design of the exterior.

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