26th August, 2010
Hyundai Motor America is shifting production of its Santa Fe crossover to the Georgia plant, to free up production for more high demand Hyundai Sonata in Alabama.
New workers have been hired at the plant in West Point, to build the Santa Fe on a second production line, said a source familiar with the situation.
The Santa Fe is now built at Hyundaiâ€™s Montgomery, Alabama plant, which also builds the Sonata sedan. That plant has been running on maximum overtime for months as Hyundai tries to meet demand for the hot-selling Sonata.
â€œOur biggest problem is we canâ€™t build enough cars,â€ Dave Zuchowski, Hyundaiâ€™s US sales boss, said in an interview. Hyundai has been working on a plan to keep dealers stocked with the Sonata without having to import from South Korea.
The Sonata has been Hyundaiâ€™s hottest vehicle this year, with 107,085 sold through July, up from 73,862 in the same period last year. The plant has the capacity to build 300,000 units annually.