Hyundai Motor has decided to increase production of the Sonata Hybrid to be launched this year. The decision has been made to respond to unexpected surge in demand, as was the case with the large SUV Palisade, which was released last year.
Hyundai Motor elevated annual production volume of the new Sonata Hybrid at the Asan plant in Korea by 8.33 percent from 48,000 units to 52,000 units, an industrial source said on June 27.
In the Korean eco-friendly car market, hybrid cars are the hottest item. Last year, 93,051 units of hybrid cars were sold in Korea, up 24.52 percent from last year. Compared with 16,364 units in 2011, the figure represented a whopping 469.26 percent jump. This year, they are expected to exceed 100,000 units.
Hybrid cars take up an overwhelming share in sales of green cars. Hybrid cars sold by Korean automakers accounted for 66.78 percent (61,236 units) of all eco-friendly cars sold last year. Although new eco-friendly cars such as pure electric cars and hydrogen-fueled electric cars continue to be launched, they are falling short of hybrid cars in terms of sales. In the first four months of this year, hybrids represented 66.97 percent (21,211 units) of 32,136 units in total green car sales.
It goes the same for the imported car market in Korea. The size of the imported hybrid car market in Korea arrived at 30,204 units last year. Considering that it was only 5,847 cars in 2013, it grew by more than 400 percent. Japanese models such as Lexus are taking the lead in the imported hybrid car market of Korea.
Hyundai has delayed the launch of the Sonata Hybrid which was originally scheduled for a launch in June. "There is no big reason for that. It is the simple postponement of a product launch," a Hyundai Motor official said. The car is expected to be released in early July when the second half begins. The hybrid model will make its debut in North America in 2020.