The new building will be constructed on Hyundais current Fountain Valley campus

The new building will be constructed on Hyundai's current Fountain Valley campus

Hyundai Motor Co is to move production of its Elantra brand to the US from South Korea later in the year, joining its larger sibling, the Sonata, in production at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA).

This change, along with the recent move of the Santa Fe to a production facility in Georgia, will further increase Hyundai's overall US production capacity, which is already producing over half of total US sales volume for the group.

"Hyundai's philosophy is to build our vehicles where we sell them, and with the addition of the Elantra to our US production mix we now manufacture our three most popular models right here in the US," said John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America.

The 2011 Elantra sedan will make its public debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show this November, while sales are scheduled to begin early next year.

Sonata is the best-selling vehicle in Hyundai's US lineup, with sales of 128,484 though the end of August, a 50% increase over the same period last year. Elantra sales through the same period of 90,960 are up 21% over the same period last year.

"We're thrilled to be adding another pillar of the Hyundai lineup to our production mix here at HMMA," said Ashley Frye, director of production, HMMA. "We've been extremely proud to build both Sonata and Santa Fe on our assembly line, both of which have been hugely successful models for Hyundai in the U.S. and we hope to carry that momentum with us as we embark on the new 2011 Elantra."

The news comes only a week after Hyundai Motor company chairman Mong-Koo Chung approved a new North American headquarters in Orange County, California, the automaker's home since its arrival in the United States in 1985.

The new building will be constructed on Hyundai's current Fountain Valley campus, securing the company's long-term future in the state and will cost about US$150m.