Hyundai hit the American shores with a bang in the late '80s, established record sales for a new import and then settled down to lackluster sales as the price of their cars went up and the automobile market overall cooled down.

Doug Mazza, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Hyundai in the United States, is out to change all that. Mazza says he expects to sell about 132,000 cars in the coming year. He feels he could sell more, but he doesn't have them available. Mazza says a new plant is under construction and that should solve the problem soon.Mazza attributes the dip in Hyundai sales to the fact that the newness of the product ended. And now comes the second part, what he calls the maturing of the car company as Hyundai develops new types of vehicles in an effort to meet the demands of the market-place.

Mazza says while Hyundai still is one of the smaller players in the American market, it is a huge company with billions of dollars in assets. Hyundai has built the largest, and one of the most advanced plants in the world in Korea. There it produces a million cars a year.

Soon to be in dealer showrooms will be the Accent. This will replace the Excel. The Excel enjoyed great success and then began to fade in popularity. Price made it popular, but performance was a problem.

Mazza says the Accent is new from the ground up, with many features never offered before in a low-priced, sub-compact car.