Hyundai’s unusual problem
Most companies don’t like to hear that they have a problem, but when the issue turn out to be that you are having difficulty meeting the demand for your product, then that news is tempered somewhat by the knowledge that you are obviously doing something right.
That is the case for Hyundai who, despite greatly increasing productivity at their Alabama facility, is still not able to meet the huge demand for their line-up of 40-mpg cars. This is a far cry from the early days of the Korean automaker who initially had to deal with an admittedly poor product and scathing reviews.
Dedicating themselves to improving quality, design and fuel efficiency has vaulted Hyundai to the top of the car manufacturing heap, and the demand for their vehicles has car dealers talking of customers flying in from other cities to try and track down a car in particular color or loaded with a set of features that they can’t find in their own hometown.
Hyundai has responded to the demand by increasing production on a worldwide scale, but admit to being “maxed out” in that regard, whilst also being overwhelmed by the increasingly positive reception t that their stable of vehicles is receiving. Despite the increased interest in their cars, Hyundai’s still reluctant to build another US plant, and refuse to be drawn into too much discussion the subject, but one representative did say that they feared quality would be harder to sustain if they spread themselves too thin.
This current upswing comes on the heels of the release of the newest version of the Sonata which is drawing rave reviews from all corners of the auto industry, with many insiders believing that Hyundai could become the world’s top seller in a few short years.
While many dealers don’t like the idea of being short on supply, they are delighted that Hyundai has started extensive leasing programs for the Sonata and Elantra, both at monthly prices ($199 and $169 respectively) that has seen their lease rate already sitting at 19% for the year. The availability for these 2 vehicles for lease are keeping the dealers happy as they are well aware that after the 3 year lease of the car is over, they have a much better shot at another sale.
Hyundai is now in the enviable position of pretty much controlling their own destiny, and the fact that they have not been pushed into building more facilities is proof positive that their commitment to a standard of excellence remains solidly intact.