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Hyundai Tucson fuel cell

Hyundai is thinking about building SUVs, pickup in U.S. factory

Hyundai Motor is thinking about constructing its Tucson and Kona sport utility vehicles and its pickup truck at its only U.S. factory to reverse a sales downturn, Seoul Economic Daily reported on Friday.

Hyundai intends to produce the Tucson and the pickup at its U.S. plant in Alabama in 2021, the report stated, mentioning anonymous market authorities. The plant presently builds Sonata and Elantra sedans and Santa Fe SUVs.

Hyundai informed Reuters it had made no choice about the future of SUV production in the United States.

“We are constantly considering the possibilities of all products in specific markets,” it stated.

To increase SUV production, Hyundai would increase the production capacity of the U.S. factory to 450,000 cars a year, from the present 380,000 vehicles, the report stated. Hyundai Motor rejected it had any strategy to extend U.S. capability.

The company is coming to grips with slumping sales of its essential sedans such as the Sonata as low oil rates drive need for petrol-guzzling SUVs and trucks.

Hyundai published the biggest sales fall amongst U.S. automakers in October, falling 15 percent in a market that slipped 1.2 percent.

Hyundai Motor senior executive Michael J. O’Brien had once informed Reuters it planned to launch a pickup truck in the United States, while people knowledgeable about the matter said the model was anticipated to be produced in late 2020 and was likely to be integrated in Alabama.

O’Brien also stated the “number one issue” was how to boost production, especially of the Tucson, which was “short of supply.”

He also stated the smaller Kona SUV, which will be introduced in the United States early next year, will come from South Korea, “at least initially.”

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