Hyundai
's U.S. dealers are finding popularity to be bittersweet. While sales are at record highs, supplies are tight. Labor strikes at the company's South Korean plants have cut as many as 10,000 U.S.-bound vehicles.

Though union workers reached an agreement with Hyundai last week, the new contract cuts the two 10-hour work shifts to an eight-hour day shift and a nine-hour night shift. That's about a 15 percent reduction in production hours beginning in March. Union officials say productivity will improve and that no loss of output is expected.

Hyundai's largest South Korean plant currently builds 300 cars an hour, totaling 1.5 million cars a year. Automotive News estimates that a 15-percent reduction at that plant alone would be a loss of 234,000 units a year.

To make sure U.S. demand is fully met, Hyundai's Alabama plant has added a third shift that is expected to churn out an extra 20,000 Sonata and Elantra models by the year's end.

"Hyundai has been running flat out," Automotive News quotes Chris Richter, an auto analyst at CLSA Asia-Pacific in Tokyo. "They don't have spare capacity lying around. It's going to put pressure on them to start adding capacity somewhere. Their investors and dealers are going to be screaming for more product."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 42 Comments
      michigan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Those guys are thinking "Nooo, don't make me do the cymbals!!"
      Jesus!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Rental car agencies ought to be excited over this!
        desinerd1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jesus!
        yeah. now they can get Accords at steep discount.
          ClementZ
          • 2 Years Ago
          @desinerd1
          Only 0.9% of Accord Sales were bulk sales, compared with 12.6 for the Sonata. Not sure where you're going with this
        Rob
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jesus!
        Hyundai has one of the lowest fleet sales percentages in the industry (around 10% or so) .Desinerd1 is right about honda discounts..especially the Civic. There was a time people paid well over sticker..now they go for arounf invoice and/or are being offered with attractive lease deals. For now it works well and Honda is keeping volume but at some point it will hurt them and also lower resale values.. always a big sales point in Honda marketing
          Kahz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rob
          Hater's gonna hate, but Rob's telling the truth. Would this demand be generated by fleet sales? No. Fleet sales are where you can 'dump' your cars.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Adrian
        • 2 Years Ago
        Blah blah blah. Same old goofy talk from SonataTroll. Your loss that you didn't compare all the options out there (some of which, like the upcoming Fusion, look to be far superior to the current Sonata). Not buying a car just because it's built by UAW or non-union folks is beyond retarded. Buy it because it's the best car for YOU and your needs.
          Adrian
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Adrian
          Whoops. My bad. He didn't say when he bought it. Regardless, you could've still shopped the 2010 Fusion, which did happen to win Motor Trend's Car of the Year. So my statement still stands.
          frost54661
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Adrian
          "Like the upcoming Fusion". Sooo he's supposed to cross-shop with a Fusion that isn't even at dealers yet, let alone at the time when he bought his car?
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Adrian
          [blocked]
          Awhattup
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Adrian
          The Sonata's never been the best in the segment since its debut but brought the best value while still very competitive. The Sonata's been out for a good while. Of course, newer cars are better in comparison.
          David Donovan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Adrian
          Adrian doesn't know what he's talking about. Got it.
        Jesus!
        • 2 Years Ago
        Did you really just say good looks and Hyundai in the same post?
        ECU tuner
        • 2 Years Ago
        You're right. The UAW is an organization of low-life communists, liberals, and ghetto thugs. Therefore, I will NEVER show support for them in any way. I will never buy one , and I will never set foot in their dealerships. I will not sit in them in an auto show. If I travel to NY or Chicago I will never set foot in a Ford Crown Vicotria, only a Scion xB. I will post negative comments about them on the internet whenever I can. I will always assume that they are inferior to their Japanese competition, regardless of their reviews. Know what, they almost definetely are, seeing all the recalls of American cars.
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good to see a company bringing new jobs to Americans rather than moving them to Mexico or India. That will be a major factor in my next car purchase.
        Jesus!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants
        They did not do it for you or for me or America. They did it for $$$ savings. Just like all of them do. They build where it will be the most profitable for them.
      Chol H Yoon
      • 2 Years Ago
      We live in a strange world when Asian manufacturing is moving to the US because of labor problems. It is funnier when Hyundai, Toyota, and Honda are assembling their mid-size cars in the US while GM, Ford and Chrysler seems to assemble them in Mexico and Canada. I guess the old Chinese curse/ proverb/ adage "may you live in interesting times" applies here.
        merlot066
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Chol H Yoon
        The 200/Avenger is made in Serling, Michigan The Malibu is made in Detroit, Michigan The Fusion will be split between Flat Rock, Michigan and Hermosillo, Mexico. No American car maker makes their mid-size sedans in Canada and Ford will only be producing some Fusions in Mexico. Hyundai still assembles the Azera, Genesis, Equus, Genesis Coupe, Veloster, Tuscon, and Veracruz in Korea.
          Michael Kowalski
          • 2 Years Ago
          @merlot066
          Chevy Cruze is made in Lordstown, Ohio. While GM doesn't have the highest output from a single US manufacturing facility, GM's top 5 US plants combined total is about 1.5 million, which if you limit it to the top 15 plants in the US, no one else's totals are even close.
          Lizbeth Hernandez
          • 2 Years Ago
          @merlot066
          but the elantra and sonata are made here and those are the best sellers. and you're only naming one car per american company so i think its safe to say that the asian manufacturers are helping the american economy more than the american ones.
        Daniel D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Chol H Yoon
        Americans are discounting their labor to the point, that they are the new working poor for car manufacturing.
        piggybox
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Chol H Yoon
        Well, Toyota and Honda have factories in Canada as well.
      Big V
      • 2 Years Ago
      Most people don't know Hyundai from Suzuki but when you cross shop, you will find pricing & options far superior to most, so it is a value deal, not an "emotion" purchase. (Yes, I own one Hyundai) They look modern and have tons of options for the price. My first preference was Honda, then Toyota but when I looked at what I was getting, gambled on the Hyundai. While I don't "love" my car, (it's just a car) I do feel good about my value. Trust me, at the same price / options I would have bought the Honda.
        Kahz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Big V
        I'm assuming that you've looked at the Accord and Camry, but when do these purchases become 'emotional'?
          Big V
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Kahz
          If I were buying a Porshe (my dream car) or for a motorcycle (totally for fun) yes, I would toss in emotions, but a daily driver? not so much.
        whatamooseiam
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Big V
        The Elantra starts out more than a Civic so there's obviously more to it than just the value proposition. If I were shopping between the two right now, I would get an Elantra over a Civic, dollar for dollar.
        Basil Exposition
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Big V
        Big V, I think the large majority of car buyers are just the same as you, which is why Hyundai is having such success: the value proposition.
      banstaman
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hope that-them increasing production-won't negatively impact the quality of their vehicles.
        George
        • 2 Years Ago
        @banstaman
        That ship has sailed, lol
        • 2 Years Ago
        @banstaman
        [blocked]
      Lx495
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Their investors and dealers are going to be screaming for more product." This is a good problem to have, especially in the Great Recession, and not just in this industry.
      FIDTRO
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's amazing what lying on your MPG claims can do for demand.
      ClementZ
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow. For a company that seems to produce so much, and seems to be quite successful as of late, they certainly seem to have rather low production potential.
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