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MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- U.S. sales of the Alabama-made Hyundai Elantra compact have reached an all-time high this year.

Earlier this month, the car's 2012 sales surpassed last year's total of 186,361, the company said this week.

With about a week left to go in the year, the Elantra could become Hyundai's second model to break the 200,000 mark in sales this year, Hyundai said.

The other one is the Sonata sedan, which is also produced at the Korean automaker's Montgomery plant.

The plant's new third shift, which started in September, has allowed the company to better meet demand for the Elantra, said John Krafcik, chief executive for Hyundai Motor America.

A full year of three-shift production at the Montgomery plant in 2013 should improve next year's sales, he said.

Automakers are expected to report their December and full-year sales next week.

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