Sweet Home: Hyundai Will Build New 2011 Elantra in Alabama
Hyundai's Elantra has been a staple of the automaker's North American lineup for roughly twenty years, but starting later this year, the company's next-generation 2011 model will be manufactured within the same continent.
The Korean automaker announced late yesterday that the North American 2011 Elantra, set to debut at the 2010 Los Angeles auto show later this year, will be built within the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama facility, located just outside of Montgomery, Alabama. Currently, U.S.-specification Elantras are built in Ulsan, Korea.
"Our philosophy is to build our vehicles where we sell them," Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik said in a prepared release. "With the addition of the Elantra to our U.S. production mix, we now manufacture our three most popular models here in the U.S."
For those keeping score, those three models are the Sonata (128,484 units in 2010 through August), the Elantra (90,960 units), and the Santa Fe (57,110 units). The Alabama facility previously played home to both Sonata and Santa Fe since 2005, but Santa Fe production recently shifted to a facility in West Point, Georgia, which also builds the Kia Sorento.
Finalized specifications for the U.S.-spec Elantra have yet to be revealed, but it's widely anticipated that the new model will offer both 1.6- and 2.0-liter I-4 engines, along with both six-speed manual and automatic transmission offerings. Expect more details to emerge closer to November, when the 2011 Elantra will be unveiled at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.