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.