By on June 30, 2011

Hyundai and Kia are capitalizing on their strong sales momentum in the US market, as Reuters reports

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group said on Thursday it was aiming to raise its U.S. auto sales by 18.2 percent this year to 1.06 million vehicles, up from its previous target of 1.01 million.

The announcement was made during a visit to the United States by Chung Mong-koo, chairman of the world’s fifth-biggest automotive group which includes Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors .

Hyundai and Kia’s combined US market share hit 10.1 percent as of May this year, up from 7.7 percent last year and 3.3 percent in 2001. And with the group’s sales seemingly limited only by its ability to produce cars fast enough, Reuters notes that the Korean media is rife with speculation that Hyundai could open another US factory. The company denies any such plans exist, but if its sales keep growing, more US-market production is only a matter of time.

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16 Comments on “Hyundai-Kia Bump US Sales Target As Rumors Of Another US Factory Swirl...”

  • avatar

    I think it no coincidence that these rumors of a new factory are arising as the KORUS FTA talks heat-up. I think its not a question of ‘if’ Hyundai will increase production, they obviously will as their sales grow, but rather ‘where’.

    As Hyundai-Kia control 80% of the Korean domestic market, with other foreign owned Korean-brands taking of the rest of the majority, the fear of Korean automotive unions aren’t of foreign brands encroaching in their country, but rather that Hyundai-Kia will start importing an increased volume of American made Hyundai-Kia’s into S. Korea. Either way, KORUS is going to be very good news to Hyundai, not to mention S. Korea’s global push for FTAs.

    • 0 avatar

      The KIA dealers last week here in Orange County toured the KIA North American Design Center in Irvine Calif, and were told that an additional area is being added onto the existing KIA West Point Georgia to build the KIA Fortes. They were asked to turn in their cell phones (so that pictures could’t be taken!) and led into the rear area of the facility, and were able to view the 2012 KIA Soul and 2012 KIA Rio’s! They are supposed to be out for sale in August.

      Also the rumors that the KIA mini-van Sedona was going to be killed of may be completely wrong. An completely all new Sedona may be in the works… with looks, overall design and features completely blowing the Nissan/Honda/Chrysler minivans out of the water! Pricing will be competitive, but in typical KIA style, value will be huge!

      The main Georgia factory has already added 24 hour shifts in order to try to keep up with KIA’s #1 selling Sorento and Optima, yet the KIA dealer I bought my KIA Sorento at in March has virtually no more KIA Sorento’s in stock, and only a couple of Optima’s. Even the stock of the hot selling KIA Soul is dwindling. Their even having problems keeping 2011 and 2012 brochures in stock!

      KIA is on a roll for sure!

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Why wouldn’t they build more factories here? Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Subaru, Mercedes, and Mazda have all done alright with factories here and Hyundai seems to have done well with the new Sonata factory. Seems like the smart business move.

  • avatar

    My mother just bought an ’11 Sonata turbo replacing her 2nd Saturn Coupe. This is the first “foreign” car my parents have owned since a ’78 VW Rabbit. Hyundai is a raising star.

  • avatar

    My mother owns a Hyundai Santa Fe. Personally I do not like them too much, but almost all my mother’s neighbors have one. They are certainly growing in popularity and may be as big as Toyota one day.

  • avatar

    I have nothing but respect for Hyundai and Kia, but they exist within the shadow of a suicidal North that must be euthanized sometime. I would be happy to see both companies move their HQs to the US to avoid armaggedon.

  • avatar

    I was going to suggest that Hyundai could get an already built factory on the cheap from Motors Liquidation Corp. When I visited the site to get a link, I was extremely surprised to find that the first property on their list was not a factory, it was a CHURCH in Bedford, Indiana.

    The fifth property is a golf course in New Jersey.

    • 0 avatar

      Not knowing how factory retooling works at all, I have to ask how hard it would be for them to move into the St. Paul factory once the Ranger is finally discontinued?

      I have to put a plug in for MN.


      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        99% of the time it’s faster and easier to build a new plant to suit your preferred production methods, rather than try to shoehorn them into someone else’s old building. Once you’ve decided to start new, you might as well find a nice empty lot in a preferred location to avoid any environmental (and cultural) mitigation issues.

  • avatar

    An interesting note: Hyundai’s CEO tells the WSJ that he’s not even thinking about growing to 10m annual units, as it’s seen what that kind of volume has done to Toyota and GM. Six to seven million seems to be the number he thinks the group can hit without lowered standards. Seems like a smart, pragmatic approach, especially in light of Toyota’s stumbles.

  • avatar

    Keep in mind that with increased US production due to another US plant, Hyundai/Kia would be less reliant on their strike-prone Korean factories for the US market.

    Also, their overseas factories are about 30% more productive than their Korean production facilities, so that’s another benefit.

    As an aside, GM Korea has increased market share (from around 8% to over 10%) ever since the name change from GM Daewoo to Chevrolet.

    • 0 avatar

      Daewoo must really have a pox on their name. They lasted here, under the Daewoo nameplate, for what 4 years? Now you say, and I have no reason to disbelieve you, that their cars are doing better in the home-market under the Chevrolet nameplate.

      I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but I do have to say that the other day I was talking to a friend and I told him that I don’t have a problem with Korean cars, I own one, but I admire Kia/Hyundai for having the courage to admit they’re Korean. Daewoo on the other hand…

  • avatar

    I wonder if they would like Flat Rock?

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