Hyundai May Consider Building Cars In Canada

CEO of Hyundai in Canada says it will become economically viable for the South Korean automaker to start building cars here within 10 years if it continues to meet its sales expectations.

TORONTO (CP) -- The president and CEO of Hyundai in Canada says it will become economically viable for the South Korean automaker to start building cars here within 10 years if it continues to meet its sales expectations.

Steve Kelleher says Hyundai first has to see "significantly higher" sales of its compact cars in Canada before it would consider opening a plant.

But he says if the automaker reaches a critical mass of sales in Canada, it will become worthwhile to build cars here, just as Toyota and Honda found.

Hyundai has rapidly been gaining market share in Canada over the past few years as its old reputation as a maker of cheap, shoddy cars has worn off.

Meanwhile, the automakers that have traditionally dominated the marketplace have struggled with lower sales and market-share losses due to the recession and the rise of newly popular brands.

General Motors, Chrysler, Ford, Honda and Toyota all have manufacturing plants in Canada.

Hyundai had a plant in Bromont, Que., that operated for about five years, but was shuttered in 1994 due to a lack of demand for its products.

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