Motor Co. Ltd. confirms it is considering Elantra production in the U.S. but denies reports a decision on the plan already has been made.
Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo sayswill begin producing the Elantra in its Montgomery, AL, plant in April 2011, with volumes to reach 150,000 units annually.
It also says a new version of the Santa Fe cross/utility vehicle to replace the current model being built in Montgomery will shift to Kia Motors Corp.’s new operation in West Point, GA.
“We have not made a decision on whether Elantra will be manufactured in the U.S.,” a Hyundai spokesman tells Ward’s in response to the press reports.
The current Elantra sold in the U.S. is marketed as the Avante in Korea and is manufactured at Hyundai’s plant in Ulsan, South Korea. It is Hyundai’s most-successful export vehicle, with 103,000 units shipped to the U.S. in 2009.
A Chinese version of the Avante, called the Elantra Yuedong, is produced at Hyundai’s newest factory in Beijing.
The U.S.-built Elantra reportedly would use Hyundai’s newly developed Nu 2.0 CVVL engine, which would be exported to the U.S. from one of Hyundai Wia Co. Ltd.’s two engine plants in China’s Shandong province.
The plants currently make Alpha 1.5L and 1.6L DOHC engines, exported mostly to Russia, India and Turkey. They also produce 1.4L and 1.6L Gamma engines, but do not make the Nu 2.0 CVVL mill.
The Nu 2.0 CVVL was engineered at the Hyundai-Kia engine development center in Namyang, South Korea, and made its world debut at the Busan motor show in April.