Hyundai boasts small sales boost

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -- The wheels of success are slowly turning at Montgomery's Hyundai Manufacturing Plant, after February sales numbers brought a breath of fresh air to the automaker.

"We're still cautiously optimistic as the year goes forward.  The economy is still in a challenging time for us. The brand seems to be holding it's own," explained Robert Burns, a Hyundai spokesman.

Hyundai boasted high sales numbers overall, but mixed figures when it came to the Sonata and Santa Fe made in Montgomery:

SONATA                                8,5384,74313,12513,251
SANTA FE                               6,0035,2239,71910,247
 Courtesy: Hyundai

Sales for both vehicles are down a bit from February 2008, but sales for the first two months are slightly higher than they were at this time last year.

It's a boost that means more work for Montgomery.

"It looks like we'll be operating four days the first week of March, then we're going to communicate with team members in the weeks ahead to see what our schedule will be," Burns said

At the other end of the sales spectrum, dealerships are trying to right themselves and attract customers in a down economy.

"[Customers are] very astute, and what they're looking for is, 'What's my cost of ownership going to be for the long haul in this vehicle?'," said Stan Hurst, dealer/operator of Capitol Hyundai.

Sales, dealers say, are increasing despite financial turmoil.

"We've had adequate inventory to accomplish everything we want to do, but we haven't had so much inventory that it's been a burden to us financially," Hurst explained.

It's encouraging news as Hyundai walks the wire and manages to stay on top.

"We're doing better than competitors, which allows us to improve our operating schedule and build quality cars, which is what we're excited about," Burns said.