Hyundai’s product chief lauds Nov. sales but worried over scant inventories

Article by Christian A., on December 6, 2010

Hyundai sold 40,723 units in November, standing for a 45% increase, making it its best November so far. But the problem, according to Hyundai’s product chief, is the scant inventories of key models.

In an interview with Automotive News, Mike O’Brien, Hyundai’s vice president of product and corporate planning, said that this might lead to customer satisfaction problems.

O’Brien disclosed that the brand had less than a 20-day supply of the best selling-vehicles – the Hyundai Sonata, Tucson and Santa Fe. At a press event, O’Brien said that there has to be inventories of “at least above 30 (days)” to have reasonable availability.

He said that Hyundai is faced with a “satisfaction challenge.” For instance, the new Sonata has been on sale for a full year and 2010 sales are expected to hit 200,000 units by year end but Hyundai only has a 16-day supply.

The Sonata is built in Hyundai’s plant in Montgomery, Ala. Just recently, the plant started producing the new Elantra compact, which will start selling in January.

The plant has an annual capacity of about 400,000 units and to cope with the Sonata demand, it has been operating at nearly full capacity. In the first 11 months of 2010, sales of the Sonata have climbed by 65%. [via autonews - sub. required]

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