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Hyundai Considers Adding SUVs, Pickup to U.S. Assembly Plant

Hyundai Considers Adding SUVs, Pickup to U.S. Assembly Plant

Hyundai Motor Co is considering producing its Tucson and Kona SUVs, as well as a new pickup truck at its only U.S. factory. The stateside production would be the company’s attempt to reverse its current sales slide, which is stemming from the brand’s sedan-heavy lineup in a market that’s after SUVs and trucks.

Seoul Economic Daily broke news of Hyundai’s proposed plans and Reuters reported it. The report says Hyundai is planning to produce the Tucson, Kona and new pickup at its Montgomery, Ala. assembly plant. Currently the plant produces the Sonata, Elantra and Santa Fe.

Along with the production shift, the report says Hyundai is considering boosting annual output of the Alabama plant from 380,000 to 450,000 units. The increase is obviously under the assumption that the SUV and truck models will sell in higher volumes than its slumping sedans.

Hyundai has not commented on this specific report, but told Reuters it is always evaluating possibilities for its individual markets.

This isn’t the first time rumors have surfaced regarding plans of a potential Hyundai pickup to be produced in the U.S. Hyundai Motor senior executive Michael J. O‘Brien has stated in the past that Hyundai will produce a new pickup truck model. At the time, sources suggested the truck would be produced in the U.S.

Hyundai also says the Tucson is currently in “short supply” in the U.S. market, while the all-new Kona model is not launching until early 2018. Hyundai has already confirmed the Kona will be imported from South Korea “initially.”

A lack of SUV and pickup truck offerings helped Hyundai’s sales tumble 15 percent in October, the largest of any full-line automaker.





 

About Nick Saporito

AutoVerdict Senior Editor Nick Saporito began writing about cars at age 13. Nick ran a couple of automotive enthusiast sites for several years, before taking some time off to focus on his career and education. By day he's a marketing executive in the telecom world and by night he hangs out here at AV. You'll find him focusing on tech, design and the industry's future.
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 2 Comments

  1. Nov 10, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Hyundai has harbored pickup ideations for years. I understand not wanting to jump in without mature R&D, and I think the resources spent on electrification and technology were the right moves for the long game — but I do wish Hyundai had moved a little faster to bring a truck to market. Two years ago would have been ideal — not two years from now when the Ranger and potential other players exist to steal more of the small slice of the unibody truck pie.

  2. Nov 10, 2017 at 10:24 am

    I'm guessing a pickup wouldn't be a high volume product, based on Honda's record. However, if it's cheaper than a Colorado, they might be able to make an impact.

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  1. 2b2
    since the sales figures I've seen lately for/FROM Hyundai do Not include percentages,

    I wasn't aware of the degree of their drop...

    ...still need to find timeenergy to make a multi-month table
    arutherford
    Wait...sedans aren't selling well...?
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