Hyundai-Kia Bump US Sales Target As Rumors Of Another US Factory Swirl

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

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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  • Conslaw Conslaw on Jun 30, 2011

    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.

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    • Bumpy ii Bumpy ii on Jun 30, 2011

      @tankinbeans 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.

  • Edward Niedermeyer Edward Niedermeyer on Jun 30, 2011

    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.

  • Bd2 Bd2 on Jun 30, 2011

    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.

    • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Jun 30, 2011

      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...

  • Dimwit Dimwit on Jun 30, 2011

    I wonder if they would like Flat Rock?

    • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Jun 30, 2011

      Like boils. It was a UAW plant in union territory. The safest prediction is that the plant will be in a right to work state.