Hyundai reports 14% drop in sales

Hyundai Sonata
Hyundai Sonata

By Mark Bullock - bio | email

December was no holiday for the struggling auto industry. The big three in Detroit report December sales were down by more than 30%. And for the Asian companies, including Hyundai, the numbers aren't much better.

The end-of-the year numbers provide more evidence of the on-going free fall for the American companies -- Chrysler dropped the most at 53%. Ford fell 32%. And GM sales were down 31%.

Hyundai, which operates its only North American plant in Montgomery, reports its December sales were slightly better, but still down by 14%.

"The brand year after year is doing very well," said plant spokesman Robert Burns during a recent interview with WSFA 12 News. "Better than last year? No. But it's holding its own."

One of the two vehicles built locally, the Sonata Sedan, saw the biggest decrease -- down to just 7,000 units sold in December, compared to 25,000 units in December of last year.

There are even rumblings that the Montgomery plant is scaling back its production. When asked about the rumors, Burns delivered the following statement to WSFA 12 News:

Regarding HMMA's production schedule, we have communicated the importance of HMMA (Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama) operating a lean and efficient manufacturing system that can quickly respond to changes in market conditions and customer demand with flexibility. If a change or adjustment occurs, I will communicate this after we've told our Team Members.

Hyundai subsidiary, Kia, also reported a drop in sales in December -- down nearly 40% from last year.