Hyundai Motor mulling U.S. production of pickup truck and SUV: Seoul Economic Daily

Hyundai Motor is yet to take a final call on producing the pickup truck and SUV in Alabama.

On Friday, Seoul Economic Daily reported, Hyundai Motor Co intends to build its Kona and Tucson sport utility vehicles (SUV) and pickup trucks at its sole U.S. factory to reverse a sales slump.

The report, citing anonymous industry officials, states that Hyundai plans on producing the Tucson and the pickup at its U.S. plant in Alabama in 2021, which currently builds the Sonata and Elantra sedans as well as the Santa Fe SUV.

Hyundai motors has clarified that the decision to do so is yet to be made but is under consideration.

“We are always considering the possibilities of all products in individual markets,” said Hyundai in a statement.

According to Seoul Economic Daily’s report, Hyundai is mulling an increase in the production capacity of its U.S. factory to 450,000 vehicles a year, up from its current 380,000 vehicles.

Hyundai Motor denied it had any plan to expand U.S. capacity.

In October, the company had posted its biggest fall in sales, amongst U.S. carmakers, with its market share slipping by 15% in a market that fell by 1.2%.

Earlier, Michael J. O‘Brien, a senior executive from Hyundai Motor had told Reuters that the company had planned to launch a pickup truck in the U. S.

According to sources familiar with the matter at hand, the model of the pickup truck that was expected to be produced in late 2020, was likely to be built in Alabama.

O‘Brien had said the “number one issue” was how to increase production, particularly of the Tucson, which was “short of supply.”

He had also mentioned, the smaller Kona SUV, which will be launched in the U.S. early 2018, will come from South Korea, “at least initially.”


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