The sales track record of Hyundai Motor America in the past two years could be largely attributed to the expansion in its lineup. The brand is now focused on the vehicles it has for the cross/utility segment.
At a Veloster media event, CEO John Krafcik said that the brand “could do better.” He said that the company’s market share in the passenger-car segment is more than 7% but in the crossover/truck division, it only has about 2.5%. He added that the company is “very under-represented” when it comes to CUV sales.
According to information gathered by Ward's Auto on the Middle CUV segment, the Hyundai Santa Fe has a 2.2% share through the second quarter, 3.3% lower compared to the previous year. It falls behind the Ford Escape (7.9%), sister-brand Kia’s Sorento (4.0%) and Subaru Forester (2.4%). Krafcik said that the current Santa Fe is almost at the end of its lifecycle, with a next-generation model expected to make its debut in the middle of 2012.
But he believes that the CUV’s underperformance is influenced more by a production shortage than its age. As of the end of August, the Santa Fe had 33 days’ supply. It had 40 days of supply in July and it had a 32-day supply the previous year.
In late August, a 56-day supply was the average for U.S. light trucks. Production of the Santa Fe was moved to Kia’s West Point, GA, factory last year from Hyundai’s Montgomery, AL, plant. Krafcik said that it’s too early to conclude if this setup will still be used for the new Santa Fe, which he claims will look similar to the “fluidic sculpture” style of the Tucson.