Hyundai will start building its Santa Fe Sport crossover at a second U.S plant early this summer to help meet demand for the SUV.
The Santa Fe Sport, a five-seat passenger crossover, will join the lineup at its manufacturing plant in Alabama. It’s also where the automaker currently builds the Sonata and Elantra.
Last year, Hyundai struggled to make enough Santa Fe Sport models to meet demand, as crossover SUVs skyrocket in popularity in the US. Hyundai execs hope adding a second US. plant into the equation will help it solve the numbers problem. It’s currently building the Santa Fe at its plant in Georgia.
“We’re thrilled to bring back another pillar of the Hyundai lineup to our production mix here at HMMA,” says Chris Susock, vice president of production of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. “We’ve been extremely proud to build both Sonata and Elantra on our assembly line for Hyundai in the U.S. and we will continue our tradition of quality and productivity with the addition of the Santa Fe Sport in 2016.”.
Over the next few months, Hyundai will be retooling the Alabama ready plant to get it ready for production. According to Reuters, Hyundai plans to build about 30,000 Santa Fe Sport vehicles in Alabama from June through December.
It’s larger sibling, the Santa Fe, has three rows and seats six to seven passengers. It’s built in South Korea.
Last year, Santa Fe Sport sales were kept in check partly due to the production capacity issue. Hyundai just couldn’t make enough of them. Sales rose 6 percent to 86,433 vehicles, meanwhile sales of the Santa Fe shot up 19 percent to 31,701.