Hyundai Motor Group is set to invest almost £15 billion in order to become a global top 3 manufacturer by the time the EV revolution is nearing its end in 2030. If successful, the Koreans will have 31 electric vehicles on offer through its various brands like Kia, Rimac, Hyundai, Ioniq and Genesis. Just how much of a challenge has Hyundai set for itself?
A year ago, Hyundai's President Jaehoon Chang said that his company's target was 1.87 million units by 2030. This year's announcement has almost doubled that number. Ambitious stuff.
According to the latest available numbers for global EV sales in 2022, the number one player was BYD with over 1.85 million cars shipped. Tesla follows on with just over 1.3 million and then you have VW/Audi with 50% less at 626,000. Combining Kia with Hyundai, we get 448,000. So, if nothing else changes, Hyundai would need to up its game and sell 50% more EVs that it did last year.
The real challenge is that none of the competition will stay still. They will all be pushing hard over the next seven years. The unit volume that a manufacturer will need to hit, in order to become number three by 2030, will be astronomic. Based on its public statements, Hyundai now needs to restructure so that it can:-
- Build over 1.5 million EV units a year in Korea
- Pass the 3.6 million a year mark for global EV production
Hyundai has confirmed that it will invest heavily in R&D, such as developing a platform for next-generation EVs, expanding product line-ups, developing core parts and advanced technologies, and establishing research facilities. It will also promote technology development with its partners. We're certainly seeing a lot of announcements.
This will enhance integrated marketability across hardware and software, including diversification of dedicated platform product line-ups, advancement of power electric (PE) systems that are key to EV performance, such as batteries and motors, and development of technologies to increase all-electric range (AER) on a single charge.
Activities will be undertaken to accelerate the development of next-generation platforms to improve the performance of EVs. The Group plans to sequentially develop dedicated platforms for each vehicle class under the Integrated Modular Architecture (IMA) system, including the ‘eM’ platform designed exclusively for passenger EVs, which will be introduced in 2025. Platforms using IMA can standardise batteries and motors to increase product development speed and efficiency.
In the next couple of years, the market will only get harder for competing EV brands – and better for EV drivers.
BYD is coming into the UK and will be at the Fully Charged Live Show in April with the ATTO 3. Tesla has pushed through a lot of discounts recently, and that helped the Model Y to become the biggest selling EV in the UK for March 2023.
Right now, the Hyundai Group is still targeting the higher end of the market with the Ioniq 7 and EV9 launches, but – in practical terms – truly massive sales volume comes from having good products available at the most popular price points. Looking back at the best sellers in the petrol/diesel market over the last five year, the very top sellers tended to have a price point closer to £20,000.
Boosting sales by enough units to become number 3 globally, will mean that Hyundai/Kia will need to get its much rumoured sub-£20,000 electric city car into the market as soon as possible.
Roll-on the ‘Electric Picanto’?