You can’t be an industry leader in automotive sales if you don’t have cars in the game. Hyundai understands this, which is why the South Korean automaker is making a big push to increase public inventory in the U.S. market. According to CEO John Krafcik of Hyundai North America, the automaker will provide U.S. dealers with 100,000 additional cars to sell to retail customers in 2012.
Going beyond full capacity
Reports indicate that 100,000 additional Hyundai cars will put the automaker’s U.S. plants in a position of having to produce beyond normal capacity. Hyundai North America is hoping that by reducing the number of vehicles it sells to fleet customers from 10 percent of total inventory to somewhere between 5 percent and 7 percent, it will be able to make up the difference in increased retail consumer sales, notes Krafcik.
Selling like hotcakes
Experts predict that Hyundai will gain capacity from a variety of new Korean-produced models that have already been introduced in the U.S. This includes the redesigned full-size Azera sedan, which recently went on sale in the U.S., as well as the redesigned Genesis Coupe, which hit U.S. dealers last month.
Rather than being too much to handle, however, Hyundai’s North American dealerships are looking forward to the challenge after a March sales stretch when 55,000 cars were available in inventory, but almost 70,000 total vehicles were sold.
“We are literally selling cars off the transporters,” Krafcik said.
A time for quality
Sales growth has been rapid for Hyundai over the past few years; adding 100,000 more vehicles into public inventory underscores this. Krafcik said that the next step for Hyundai before adding even more capacity will be to work on improving the quality of its offerings, customer service and supplier relationships.
“We are driven by this goal to be the most loved car company, that is our over-riding goal,” Krafcik said. “It’s not about volume.”
Krafcik went on to note that while Hyundai should outpace the industry for overall sales in 2012 – the automaker expects to sell more than 700,000 vehicles, after selling 645,691 in 2011 – it should maintain a measured approach toward increasing inventory.
“There is this idea that you can grow too fast,” he said.