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2014 Media Kit
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Hyundai US chief sees market share of 4.7% in 2014

By: | at 03:08 PM | International Trade  

Hyundai Motor Co expects its market share to bounce up to 4.7 percent this year from 4.6 percent in 2013, propelled by new models such as the revamped Sonata sedan and fewer capacity constraints, the automaker’s new U.S. chief told Reuters.

Limited production capacity keeps the automaker from getting to 5 percent this year, David Zuchowski, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor’s U.S. unit said, adding that this was a “mid-term plan.”

The South Korean automaker, once an out performer, has lost U.S. market share since reaching a record high of 5.1 percent in 2011, as U.S. and Japanese rivals made a comeback, and as a lack of manufacturing capacity and newer models curbed sales.

“In 2014, my primary responsibility as president and CEO is to make sure that I show that 2013 was an anomaly and not a trend. So overheated trend in prior years, a little bit of payback last year,” Zuchowski told Reuters on the sidelines of Detroit auto show.

“Let’s get us back on our sustainable growth trends”

He said the growth would be driven by products. The company will launch the new Genesis sedan, followed by the revamped Sonata in late summer or fall. Hyundai will add two new products next year, followed by another two in 2016.

“Again, we’re back in the cycle,” he said.

Effective on Jan 1, Zuchowski, a former Hyundai sales chief in the United States, took over from John Krafcik. It was Hyundai’s first change of the top U.S. job in five years after the company trailed market growth last year.

Zuchowski, who previously served at Ford Motors Co (F.N) and Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T), expects to sell about 740,000 vehicles this year, up about 2.7 percent from 720,783 last year.

In 2013, Hyundai Motor’s U.S. sales rose 2.5 percent from a year earlier, lagging the overall market’s 7.7 percent gain and missing a sales target of 734,000 vehicles.

He said the company would be able to “squeeze” more output from its manufacturing facilities in the United States and import more cars from South Korea as Hyundai expands capacity in China and other countries.

“We also get an indirect impact from additional plants in China, Brazil and Czech Republic because it gives more flexibility on Korean production.” he said.

There are no current plans to build a new U.S. factory.

“We look at it all the time, but no plans right now,” he added. (Reuters)