Alabama-built Santa Fe boosts May sales for Hyundai

Alabama-built Santa Fe boosts May sales for Hyundai
The Santa Fe helped boost SUV sales and total sales for Hyundai in May. (Hyundai)

Hyundai posted its best month ever for SUV sales in May, with a 29% jump in sales of the Alabama-built Santa Fe aiding in the achievement.

SUV sales made up 55% of the automaker’s total sales for the month.

Hyundai Motor America said all vehicle sales totaled 66,121, a 2% increase over May 2018 and the 10th straight month of increasing month-over-month total sales.

Leading the way was growth in sales of its SUVs with Santa Fe, Tucson and Kona all setting new May monthly sales records.

Hyundai began producing the revamped Santa Fe in Alabama last year and began sales in September. Demand for the vehicle boosted production at the Montgomery plant.

Overall, May SUV sales were up 27% compared with May 2018. Santa Fe and Santa Fe XL sales were up a combined 29%, Tucson was up 20% and Kona sales increased by 42%, with Santa Fe, Tucson and Kona setting May monthly sales records. On the car front, Accent sales grew 8% and Veloster 40%.

“The focus on our core models, along with the efforts of our regions and retail partners, strong marketing support and an exceptional product line, continued to grow sales and pick up market share in an industry that we expected to be down in May,” said John Cook, director of Sales Operations, Hyundai Motor America. “Hyundai’s expanding SUV lineup is clearly resonating with customers, and with Palisade sales starting this month, our SUV mix is becoming more in line with the industry and represents a big opportunity for Hyundai sales throughout the rest of this year.”

The Santa Fe is produced in Montgomery at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama along with the Sonata and Elantra sedans. The Sonata and the Elantra both experienced a decline in sales compared to May a year ago. Both models, however, remain among the top sellers for Hyundai.

Speaking of the Elantra, Hyundai has announced details for the 2020 Elantra, which will feature a new Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT), improved fuel economy and standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA).

Last month, Hyundai marked the grand opening of a $388 million engine plant at its Montgomery campus.

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