DETROIT – After selling a record 761,710 units in the U.S. last year, Hyundai Motor America is aiming for another record volume in 2016, pegging likely volume growth at 3%.
“I think we’re a little bit more conservative than most in terms of industry growth. We think as (federal interest rates) go up, availability is going to compress total industry growth a little bit,” Dave Zuchowski, HMA CEO, tells WardsAuto following Hyundai’s Genesis G90 press conference at the 2016 North American International Auto Show.
However, he says the next-generation Elantra compact car in the first quarter, the Genesis G90 and Genesis brand launch in the second and third quarters, and the fourth-quarter debut of the all-new Ioniq electrified model lineup should propel Hyundai above projected industry growth of 1%.
Further, availability of Hyundai’s Tucson and Santa Fe light trucks should improve this year. Hyundai is adding capacity for 45,000 units of the former, plus 50,000 more 2-row Santa Fe Sport models, Zuchowski says.
Hyundai announced last week the Santa Fe Sport would begin production at its Montgomery, AL, plant in early summer, joining the Elantra and Sonata. Sales of domestically built Elantras fell 2.3% last year and domestically built Sonata deliveries declined 1.6%, WardsAuto data shows.
Zuchowski says all three Ioniq variants, the hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicle, will be available in all 50 U.S. states, although every Hyundai dealer may not retail them due to charging-infrastructure investment.
“If a customer wants to order one, he will get it wherever he’s located,” Zuchowski says. “Some dealers may not carry them as a matter of course but we’ll work through that.”
The PHEV Ioniq will have a later introduction than the hybrid and EV, he adds.
The Ioniq is Hyundai’s first dedicated hybrid, aimed at taking market share away from Toyota’s successful Prius lineup.
The Ioniq Hybrid has a 52.7-mpg (4.5 L/100 km) combined fuel efficiency rating, compared with 52 to 56 mpg (4.2 L/100 km) for the ’16 Prius.
The Ioniq Hybrid goes on sale this month in South Korea for roughly $19,000-$23,000.
Meanwhile, Zuchowski says Hyundai’s “your time, your place” test drives will continue for the G90.Hyundai introduced the scheme with the 2010 launch of the G90’s predecessor, the Equus.
Zuchowski earlier told WardsAuto Hyundai would not require its dealers to build standalone showrooms for the Genesis brand. The brand will separate the cars with signage and displays, similar to what it has been doing with the Equus, as well as the Genesis sedan and coupe.