Hyundai Scraps Plan to Sell Minivan in U.S.
Hyundai Motor America said it has shelved plans to import a minivan for that already crowded niche in the U.S. market and instead will focus on marketing the sport-utility vehicle it will introduce here in the spring of 2000. Finbarr O’Neill, president of the Fountain Valley-based U.S. arm of South Korea’s largest car maker, said the minivan was abandoned because it was designed for the European and Asian markets and simply was not good enough for the more competitive U.S. market. A Hyundai insider said the company, which is beginning to rebuild a reputation tarnished by problems with its early economy cars, didn’t want to be saddled with a van that critics would pan and the public would avoid. Hyundai spokesman Chris Hosford said the company doesn’t plan to sell a version of the minivan that Hyundai’s new subsidiary, Kia Motors Inc., will introduce in the U.S. next year.