Hyundai U.S. chief sees next Tucson doubling crossover's U.S. sales

viernes 9 de mayo de 2014 14:54 GYT

DETROIT May 9 (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor Co will introduce a new version of its Tucson next year and believes it can double U.S. sales of the crossover utility vehicle thanks to greater availability from South Korea, a top executive said.

The automaker currently sells about 45,000 Tucson crossover vehicles a year in the United States. But with new assembly plants coming online in China, India and Brazil, capacity will be freed up in Korea to meet U.S. demand for the vehicle, U.S. chief David Zuchowski told reporters on late Thursday.

"We're missing business in the Tucson segment," he said, "We think we can easily get to 90,000" sales.

Zuchowski, who took over the U.S. operations in January, said the redesigned Tucson will debut around May 2015.

Hyundai started selling the new version of its Genesis sedan last month, while the new Sonata will go into production next week. A new Elantra small car will debut by the end of 2015, he said.

The roll-outs are part of Hyundai's plan to introduce 12 new vehicles over the next three years, he said.

Zuchowski also reaffirmed the company's expectation that it will sell about 750,000 vehicles in the U.S. market this year. That would be up from 720,783 last year, when the South Korean company lost market share due to capacity constraints and an aging lineup of cars.

"Our long-term plans are, we want to gain the market share back that we lost last year," he said. "It's very, very important to get back to 5 percent symbolically. It's not going to happen overnight, but that's our plan.

Hyundai's U.S. market share fell to 4.6 percent last year from a 2011 peak of 5.1 percent.   Continuación...