Hyundai Limits US Sales Expansion in 2013 image

Hyundai expects 2013 to bring its slowest annual growth in the US market for the past five years as the automaker confronts with limits in plant capacity.

Since 2008 Hyundai increased US sales with 75% and according to the company’s CEO John Krafcik, deliveries this year should go up 4.4% to 734,000 units. This would be with 31,000 units more compared with 2012, the result of improved efficiency at the automaker’s Montgomery plant, in Alabama.

“All of our Korean plants are very tight, as are our plant in Alabama” and a Kia Motors Corp. factory in Georgia that builds the Santa Fe SUV for Hyundai, said Krafcik. “There are no plans to expand capacity. We have shown the last few years that without a new plant we’ve been very capable of finding incremental production.”

Hyundai began to increase sales in 2009 with the redesigns of the Elantra compact car, Sonata sedan, the Tucson crossover and the Santa Fe SUV. In 2012 Hyundai’s sales in the US increased to 703,007 units after 401,742 units in 2008. The restrained growth will give the automaker the possibility to improve customer satisfaction and vehicle quality. In January and February the company’s global sales increased 2.3% compared with the industrywide 8.4%.