Hyundai could abandon US truck market
Sep 19, 2003 12:00 PM, By Tim ParryHyundai Truck America (HTA) is expected to announce that it is closing its commercial truck operations in Jamesburg NJ, according to a report from WardsAuto.com.
HTA has imported only 20 trucks into the United States so far and delivered just three to customers, Ward's reported. HTA was to offer HLD150 Class 4 light-duty and HMD230 and HMD260 Class 6 medium-duty trucks for pick-up and delivery, nursery/landscape, towing/wrecker, and foodservice applications.
According to Ward's, Hyundai will exit its truck business because Korean labor unions are demanding a 10-year work guarantee for a joint venture plant with DaimlerChrysler AG. With the future of that plant and those products unclear, Hyundai has decided to leave the market in the United States, sources told Ward's.
HTA's decision to tap into the US market proved to be short-lived. In December 2002, Hyundai launched the division that began marketing Hyundai-made light- and medium-duty trucks.
Hyundai previously had a trucking presence here via a now-defunct agreement with Bering Truck Corp, which had established a commercial vehicle assembly operation in Front Royal VA. HTA spokesman Fred Hammond said in January that its 30 dealerships were former Bering Truck Distribution LLC dealers.
Hammond said the trucks were being assembled in Korea, then shipped to the United States. He said HTA wanted to test the US market before it made any plans to assemble the trucks there.