Hyundai, in another bold move to continue attracting American consumers and impressing the public, will soon be building up to 80% American-sold cars in the US (as long as the Elantra makes as big a splash as the Sonata). That would make the little Korean-that-could as "American" as Ford, GM, and apple pie. While this sounds impressive, the numbers are a bit skewed.
For example, the 80% (or "closer to 70%" if listening to J.D. Power analyst Jeff Schuster) is significant when strictly discussing percentages. If discussing volume, the major US automakers still hold the cards. CNN Money reports that if GM were building 66% of American-sold cars here, the number would triple Hyundai's current volume.
Also, the figures deal with completed vehicles; that means cars built in Canada or Mexico using American-built power trains and components will represent the country in which they roll off the line.
With Santa Fe and Sonata production already here, John Krafcik says Hyundai will soon begin manufacturing its next-gen Elantra compact at the company's Alabama plant.
Doing a mighty fine job of keeping it simple, Krafcik says, "I'm going to build my three best selling cars in the U.S. Ford builds its best-selling car in Mexico."
To paint the picture a little more clearly, both Ford and Chrysler build a significant number of vehicles in North America, but when extracting Canadian and Mexican facilities, are left with a number slightly less than Hyundai's expected 80%.
By Phil Alex