Why is this man smiling? Well, it could be because hotcakes only wish they were selling as well as Hyundais. Or perhaps that grin says he knows something we don't – like when and where his company plans to build a second North American assembly plant.

Yet Hyundai CEO John Krafcik told reporters last week that the Korean-based automaker has no plans to expand its U.S. production, which is currently running at literally 110 percent. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama has the capacity to build 300,000 Elantra and Sonata models, a number that's been boosted by another 30,000 units this year by way of increased efficiencies. (Hyundai is also getting Sante Fe crossovers from corporate cousin Kia, which operates a plant in Georgia).

Despite the boost in production, Hyundai inventory levels dipped to an extremely low 21 days supply this summer, even as sales continued to grow. Hyundai has already blown past its 2010 numbers, and year-to-date sales are up 21 percent.

This leads Edmunds AutoObserver.com to conclude that it isn't necessarily buying Krafcik's no-new-factories line. "It seems inevitable Hyundai must address its stretched-to-the-max production," says the report, which predicts that Hyundai will announce a plan for U.S. expansion early next year.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      Jake
      • 3 Years Ago
      Perhaps they are a bit reserved as they are worried about the global economy which in the near-term could see the collapse of a chunk of Europe, the dissolution of the Eurozone, the continued devaluation of US dollar by our idiot politicians, and continuous irresponsible use of debt across the world.
        rlog100
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jake
        The falling US dollar is overdue and we went into debt over the past 30 years trying to prevent its fall. Regardless a falling US dollar actually makes it more attractive for Hyundai to set up in the US, actually.
          Jake
          • 3 Years Ago
          @rlog100
          Assuming people can continue to afford to buy their products in large numbers....
      chancuff
      • 3 Years Ago
      "No new US factories" is undoubtedly a negotiating ploy for better terms from the states and counties vying for Hyundai's business --- a rather transparent ploy at that.
      Matthew Miles
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Yet Hyundai CEO John Krafcik told reporters last week that the Korean-based automaker has no plans to expand its U.S. production, which is currently running at literally 110 percent." Reason being, the next plant they build in NA will be in Canada.
      donnieorama
      • 3 Years Ago
      Even if they do decide to build another plant--if won't be ready for years. A LOT can happen in a few years.
      chasegarcia
      • 3 Years Ago
      What a remarkable company. Keep it up Hyundai! (This could have been Honda.)
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Matt.P
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hyundai: 1 Haters: 0
      Klinkster
      • 3 Years Ago
      There's no incentive for Hyundai to build anything in North America since Korea has free-trade with the US. Couple that with an artificially depressed Korean currency and only a sucker would think to build anything outside of Korea. Korea: 1 USA: 0
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Klinkster
        [blocked]
      mylz
      • 3 Years Ago
      ya know, what really ticks me off is that all of a sudden the idiots flocking to hyundai/kia forget to rememeber their cars were and can still be argued to be complete JUNK! i say this because i know somebody who works for hyundai and they mentioned "just wait. theres a reason why i wont buy one of their cars even though they have made improvements design wise by copying anything that moves.. they pay for the mortgage and keep food on the table". somebody needs to do something about are free trade agreements. we charge them like jack to import/build cars here. but yet we cannot import are cars to them... doesnt a camaro cost like 100k in the asian markets?
        DonkeyBear
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mylz
        nope, American cars are relatively cheap in Korea compare to domestic cars over there. And you will be surprised how many German cars are on the street even with the tariff premium. it's the car not the price.
        autoblogfan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mylz
        If other car manufacturers would come out with competitive products with compelling designs then "idiots" wouldn't be flocking to Hyundai/Kia, would they?
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
          • 3 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          clquake
          • 3 Years Ago
          Acura RDX has a turbo engine. So far it has been rock solid.
          • 3 Years Ago
          [blocked]
      ken
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's because the US has signed the free trade agreement with Korea. What's the point of running a foreign plant if you can build cheaper at home.
        bonamana
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ken
        Actually, building a car in Korea is not cheaper than State side. also wage is not cheaper in Korea . Hyundai is going to build another plant when they finished build 3rd plant in China, Hyundai is also focusing on profits and quality than expansion to launching the luxury brand when next gen Genesis and new Bmw 3 fighter arrives. that's what i've read in Korean papers.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
    • Load More Comments