Like other automakers, Hyundai is putting a larger focus on crossovers and SUVs.
The Korean automaker is getting rid of its Azera full-size sedan, a model that has been slow selling in the U.S. It likely won’t go away in other markets where it’s sold as the Grandeur, but Hyundai Motor America finds no need for the Azera any longer. In addition, it will help further differentiate the Hyundai brand from its new Genesis luxury sub-brand.
In a recent interview, Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski said that the Tucson compact crossover would outsell Hyundai’s volume model, the Elantra, if the company didn’t have production constraints. Hyundai plans on addressing production by increasing output.
To do so, the brand recently brought new tooling to its Montgomery, Alabama factory so that it can build the Santa Fe Sport where the Elantra and Sonata models are being produced. Annual production capacity of the Santa Fe Sport will be increased to about 50,000 units.
To address the Tucson shortage, Hyundai is also allocating production of an extra 50,000 units of capacity this year and don’t be surprised if it ends up besting the Elantra in sales this year.
Hyundai will also be expanding its offerings with a B-segment crossover to compete with models like the Nissan Juke, Fiat 500X, Mazda CX-3 and Jeep Renegade. The more important factor is that the Genesis sub-brand will also get luxury crossovers and they will be available in all sizes in the future.
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