Hyundai struggles to meet US consumer demand image

The South Korean automaker, with its rapid ascension on the US market and its plant expansion cap set up by its top executive, has a lot riding on the new 2015 Sonata, which is now churning out of its Montgomery, Alabama plant.

The US factory is actually manufacturing cars well beyond its rated official capacity – which makes the production of the 2015 Sonata even more crucial, as dealers ask high numbers to address increased consumer demand.

The Montgomery manufacturing facility, which has been around for decade already, was only rated at 300,000 units per year, but the US factory actually rolled out of its production lines last year no less than 398,000 cars – thanks to three per day/five days per week worker shifts.

“We’ve really pushed the plant hard,” said Dave Zuchowski, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor America. “We’re having a hard time keeping up with demand and the ability of this plant to overproduce is critical.”

The plant’s incredible capacity to span well beyond its initial rated production capacity has been adamant to the brand’s expansion in North America, with Hyundai adding workers (3,000 of them now) to open the third production shift and contains within its $1.7 billion assembly complex, in addition to the actual manufacturing lines, an engine plant a highly automated stamping facility.