March 09, 2021 12:48
Hyundai has halted production at its plant in Asan, which has been making the ubiquitous mid-sized Sonata sedan for 20 years.
Hyundai said the stoppage at the plant will last from Monday to Friday to clear inventory left over due to poor sales. It said the aim is to ensure "flexible production and supply according to market demand."
The Asan plant also manufactures the large Grandeur sedan. A Hyundai staffer said, "Poor sales of the Sonata prompted us to roll out more Grandeurs, and this has led to rising inventory."
The Sonata was the most popular car in Korea from 2000 to 2010 but ceded its position to the Gandeur in 2017, and last year sales plunged 32.6 percent, even below affiliate Kia's mid-sized K5 sedan.
One industry insider said, "Rising incomes mean Koreans favor bigger and more luxurious cars, and the Grandeur has now established itself as the standard car for the middle class. The K5 managed to attract younger buyers with its sleek design, but the Sonata didn't."
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