Hyundai Invests in Trucks to Boost Sales in the US image

Hyundai plans to invest in crossovers and trucks, trying to revive the US sales.

Hyundai’s car and light-truck sales in the US in the first half of 2012 accounted for 4.9%, down from 5.1% in 2011. The company might see a decrease until the end of this year due to tight production capacity and Chairman Chung Mong Koo’s plan to improve quality. The company recently began production of the new 2013 Santa Fe sport utility vehicle.

“If you look forward a few years, and you say, ‘Gosh, if Hyundai can figure out their capacity constraints, and if Hyundai could invest on the truck and crossover side as they have on the car side of the business,’ ” John Krafcik, chief executive officer of the South Korean company’s U.S. sales unit said, then “the brand could have a pretty good future going forward.”

In September the company will add a third shift at its Montgomery, Ala., factory, boosting capacity by 20,000 vehicles this year and by 60,000 units on an annual basis. The plant currently manufactures 300,000 Elantra small cars and Sonata sedans annually. From January to June Hyundai increased passenger-car sales to retail buyers by 17% to 267,743 units, passing Ford whose deliveries were up 8.1% to 250,718 units.