In 2013, Hyundai UK only plans to sell 700 more cars in 2013 than it did in 2012.
This may seem outrageously idle considering sales have been skyrocketing for the past four years, but the reason is an obstacle to sales that other auto makers can only dream about – a problem of global demand far outstripping their production capabilities.
Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO of Hyundai UK explains, "70 per cent of the cars we sell come from our factories in the Czech Republic and Turkey and they are at full capacity. We can't source from elsewhere because other massive growth markets such as China, India and the US are crying out for our products."
Additional capacity for the UK will become available from the Turkish plant which is to take over right-hand-drive production of the i10 and i20 -both are currently made in India - but this will not be until sometime in 2014.
Hyundai sold 74,285 vehicles in the UK last year, a record number giving it an all-time market share high of 3.63 per cent and a place in the Top 10 sales chart - the first time ever for a South Korean brand. Yet, just four years ago, the South Korean brand was selling under 30,000 units a year in the UK.
Much of the sales success has been with the 'i' models which have been very well received and eating into the market share of other brands. But with that success comes peril – how to maintain customers who now have higher expectations.