Hyundai will begin production of the five-seat Santa Fe Sport at its Alabama factory this summer to take advantage of the growing popularity of crossovers in comparison to midsize sedans. The company won't release official production targets for the CUV at the plant, but an anonymous company insider told Reuters Hyundai would build around 30,000 of them at the site this year.

The Kia factory in Georgia will continue to handle the majority of Santa Fe Sport production, but the Alabama assembly will help Hyundai keep up with demand. The three-row Santa Fe will still come from South Korea.

The Alabama factory has a 400,000-unit annual capacity and already produces the Elantra and Sonata. Sonata sales slipped in 2015 to 213,303 deliveries from 216,936 in 2014. Meanwhile, the volume of both body styles of Santa Fe jumped to 118,134 examples in 2015 from 107,906 the previous year. According to Reuters, Hyundai could have sold more of the CUVs last year, but a limited production capacity restricted the sales. Rumors from 2015 suggested that Hyundai might have had an eye on the plant for additional crossover production in case of falling sales for the sedans built there.

The Alabama factory last built the Santa Fe in August 2010. "We're thrilled to bring back another pillar of the Hyundai lineup to our production mix here at HMMA," Chris Susock, vice president of production at the plant, said in the announcement.
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ID: 44810

• Additional production will support growing demand in the sport utility segment

• Alabama plant is the home of the Sonata and Elantra sedans

• Plant is capable of assembling 400,000 units per year

MONTGOMERY, Ala., January 7, 2016 –Hyundai Motor Company has announced the addition of the Santa Fe Sport to the production schedule at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) starting in the summer of 2016. This change will supplement existing U.S. production of the sport utility vehicle to meet the growing demand in this popular vehicle segment.

"We're very happy Hyundai has been able to make this change, which will result in more great Santa Fe crossovers available to our dealers and customers," said Dave Zuchowski, president and 'CEO of Hyundai Motor America.

"The new production will help us meet the growing demand for one of our most popular products," said Zuchowski.

Having Santa Fe Sport production join Sonata and Elantra at HMMA will also provide Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama more flexibility to shift product mix to meet market demands.

"We're thrilled to bring back another pillar of the Hyundai lineup to our production mix here at HMMA," said Chris Susock, vice president of production, HMMA. "We've been extremely proud to build both Sonata and Elantra on our assembly line for Hyundai in the U.S. and we will continue our tradition of quality and productivity with the addition of the Santa Fe Sport in 2016."

In the coming months, the plant will be coordinating retooling, robot programming and other logistical projects to prepare for start of production this summer. Production targets for Sonata, Elantra and Santa Fe Sport during 2016 will be determined at a later date.

The Santa Fe was last built at HMMA in August 2010.

About Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama
Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA), headquartered in Montgomery, Ala., is an independent manufacturing operation of Hyundai Motor Company, based in Seoul, South Korea. HMMA currently produces the 2016 Sonata sedan, and 2017 Elantra sedan vehicle. HMMA can produce 400,000 vehicles annually. Hyundai cars and sport utility vehicles are distributed throughout North America, Canada, United States and Puerto Rico. In the United States, Hyundai vehicle sales are managed by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced nearly 800 Hyundai dealerships nationwide.

Additional information on Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama can be found on the Internet at:

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