Hyundai Sales Flat in April as Capacity Constraints Hurt

AutoInformed.com

It has been clear for more than a year now that Hyundai needs another plant, a risk that management has so far been reluctant to take.

Hyundai Motor America posted an all-time April sales record of 62,264 units, up 0.8% over last year’s all-time April record. This was less than half the rate of growth in the overall U.S. auto market. Still, it was the second best sales month in Hyundai history after last month’s all-time record. Year-to-date, Hyundai sales are up 10%, exactly tracking the overall growth in the market.

“Never has a relatively flat sales month felt quite so good,” said Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai Motor America’s executive vice president of national sales.

The question facing Hyundai remains how to increase production to find out what the actual demand is for its hot selling, highly styled vehicle lines?  

Earlier this week, Hyundai announced a third shift at its Alabama plant that will increase 2012 production capacity by approximately about 20,000 units of its fuel efficient Sonata and Elantra sedans. That, and a shift of fleet sales to retail sales, will likely keep Hyundai dealers happy, for the moment.

Nevertheless, it has been clear for more than a year now that Hyundai needs another plant, a risk that management has so far been reluctant to take.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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