When the Chrysler dealership on the corner of South Van Ness Avenue and 16th Street closed in 2008, it was a grim reminder of the bad state of American automakers.
A year later, the site is still a reflection of current trends in the auto industry: Now Korean car-maker Hyundai has hung a “Coming Soon” sign in the window.
The Detroit Free Press reports that Hyundai is currently a big success story in the turbulent auto industry.
“In 1998, Hyundai held 0.6% of the U.S. auto market. Today, it’s 4.4%, ranking seventh among U.S. brands. Sales in 2010 are up 23%, the 17th consecutive month of year-over-year market share gains. In April, Sonata demand was so strong that Hyundai ran out.”
The Sacramento Business Journal claims that California is responsible for a large part of Hyundai’s success.
“California accounts for much of the South Korean automaker’s impressive performance. The company sold 9,930 cars and trucks during the first quarter, a 79 percent increase from the same three-month period last year.
In fact, almost four of every 100 new cars sold in the Golden State were Hyundais during the first quarter, according to the California New Car Dealers Association in Sacramento.”
There are currently no Hyundai dealerships in San Francisco; the closest is in Burlingame.
As for Chrysler: The AP reported last year that there are no longer any Chrysler dealers in San Francisco or San Mateo Counties, following the company’s decision to close three peninsula dealers.