PRAGUE -- Hyundai will add new models to its Czech plant earlier than planned to compensate for lower-than-expected demand for the i30 hatchback.
One measure being taken is to widen the product portfolio, Hyundai spokesman Petr Vanek said.
The production start for the i30 station wagon will be moved forward by a month to late February or early March. The wagon, which is on sale in Europe, currently is built in Korea.
The Nosovice plant will begin making a small minivan code-named YN by the middle of the year instead of in the fourth quarter Vanek said.
The YN will be built for Hyundai sister brand Kia.
European sales of the i30 were down 27 percent to 2,974 in November compared with the same month in 2007.
The decline comes as all automakers are trying to cope with reduced demand for new cars in Europe and around the world.
The sales slowdown is hitting Hyundai just three months after it started production of the i30 at its new 1.1 billion plant at Nosovice, in the northeast corner of the country.
To respond to the sales decline, Hyundais Czech boss announced that the workweek at the factory would be cut to four days from five in January.