Report: Hyundai May Build New Elantra in U.S., Move Santa Fe Production to Kia Plant

A Korean newspaper has reported that Hyundai plans to build the North American market version of its new Elantra saloon (otherwise known as the Avante) at its Alabama plant starting from April 2011 in order to reduce costs.

The report from The Chosun Ilbo, which cites a Korean Hyundai spokesman as its source, goes on to say that the Elantra will replace the current Santa Fe SUV at the Alabama factory adding that the Santa Fe's replacement, which is due in mid-2011, will be moved to sister company Kia's plant in Georgia.

It is also noted in the report that for the first time, Hyundai will install engines made by its China-affiliate in the U.S.-spec Elantra.

Now, Hyundai produces only the Sonata sedan and Santa Fe in the U.S., with the current versions of the Elantra and Accent being imported from South Korea.

If true, the move to build the Elantra in the U.S. is said to drastically reduce exports from the firm's Korean plants as last year, Hyundai shipped around 103,000 units of the car to the States.

Source: Chosun