Hyundai Aims Big: Wants 600,000 U.S. Sales This Year

Hyundai’s full-court push to modernize both its image and lineup has yielded a portfolio of stylish, affordable, fuel-efficient vehicles the buying public can’t seem to get enough of. Although some may consider that the metric of success, the company has another goal in sight: to sell more than 600,000 vehicles in the United States by the end of 2011.

Hyundai sold 538,228 cars last year; the new goal shouldn’t be hard to meet for the automaker. It has already sold 263,588 vehicles since the start of 2011, and Automotive News speculates that if the Korean manufacturer continues at its current sales rate, it will have no problem breaking the 630,000 mark.

Demand for the automaker’s fuel efficient cars -- such as the Sonata, Elantra, and Accent -- has skyrocketed along with gas prices, leaving Hyundai unable to keep up production with demand. Since the start of the calendar year, it has increased output at its Montgomery, Alabama manufacturing plant, and now has the ability to produce 330,000 units of the Sonata and Elantra sedans this year. To help meet demand for the cars, Hyundai also moved production of its Santa Fe SUV to sister-company Kia’s plant is West Point, Georgia to be built alongside the Kia Sorento. The automaker is also planning to have a larger supply of the 2012 Accent compact ready for U.S. consumption, even though it is currently built in South Korea.

Hyundai’s U.S.-based production has helped its growth against other Asian automakers, as it faced fewer parts shortages and production stoppages caused by the March 11 disaster is Japan. So far this year, Hyundai sales have been up by 29 percent.

The new goal may not be that far-reaching for Hyundai, but could it be getting too big? Could Hyundai have the same kind of fall from the top that had since happened to Toyota? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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