The Hyundai Motor Group (HMG), which consists of both Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis, is killing it at the moment when it comes to electric vehicles (EVs). From one smash hit to another, it seems that there's no stopping the South Korean giant from releasing continuously successful EVs. Of course, even with such huge back-to-back successes, there's still no room for complacency, which is why in the coming years, you can indeed expect HMG to be an EV force to be reckoned with.
Praised By Critics And Customers Alike
Of course, to find out how HMG is set to be an EV force to be reckoned with, we should first begin with what's been their primary motivator to continue pursuing the EV market. While other brands find the motivation to do better from the setbacks they experienced (Honda, for instance), HMG is motivated by how well-received their EVs were over the past two years. The Hyundai Ioniq 5, which is HMG's first EV to ride on their highly-successful Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) was released with universal acclaim. Apart from being a favorite of numerous journalists and owners around the world, it also swept awards at last year's 2022 World Car Awards. The Ioniq 5 was crowned the World Car of the Year, World Car Design of the Year, and World Electric Car of the Year. To make matters more impressive, that same feat was repeated this year by the Ioniq 6 electric sedan.
Out on the Kia side of the coin, the EV6 was crowned TopSpeed's Electric Car of the Year, 2022 European Car of the Year--beating its Ioniq 5 cousin in the European continent. The high-performance EV6 GT, on the other hand, was crowned 2023 World Performance Car at the World Car Awards. While the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6's awards sound more prestigious, choosing between Hyundai and Kia's EVs is mostly driven by design preferences rather than which EV performs better.
Great Portfolio Already And More Models Joining Soon
As a reflection of how great HMG's EVs are, SNE Research says that HMG was the sixth-largest seller of plug-in vehicles globally in 2022 (which combines sales of EVs and plug-in hybrids). 510,000 plug-in vehicles have been sold by HMG last year. While in a numbers game doesn't sound like much compared to Volkswagen's 815,000 copies or Tesla's 1,314,000 examples, it has the highest growth rate among those three, with HMG's sales increasing by 40.9 percent versus Tesla's 40 percent and Volkswagen Group's measly 8.8 percent. That sales success is expected to grow even more with the recently-unveiled Kia EV9 three-row electric SUV. Other EVs are already nearing the end of their development, such as the Ioniq 5 N performance EV that's set to debut this June; the Ioniq 7 three-row SUV that's coming out for the 2024 model year; and the Kia EV5 compact electric SUV that was recently previewed as a concept.
The Auto Group Is Investing Billions Into Its EV Future
Confidence and familiarity often breed contempt, but thankfully for HMG, the South Korean giant is just getting started. HMG recently announced in April a massive $18 billion investment to improve its capabilities in researching and developing EVs. Considering how HMG is extremely well vertically stacked as a conglomerate, thus having a lot of its components created in-house such as its steel and the upcoming Software Defined Vehicles (SDV) electronics architecture, expect HMG to be quick to adapt to global challenges whilst being resistant to any parts shortages that the world is still reeling from. From this massive EV investment, Hyundai is confident that by 2030, it'll be able to expand its annual EV production in South Korea to 1.51 million units, while global EV sales are expected to reach 3.64 million examples. This will make HMG the third-largest fully electric vehicle manufacturer in 2030, assuming that their current growth rate in EV sales continues through the end of the decade.
Some Hurdles, But Hyundai And Kia Will Get Past It
While HMG's EV sales have been a showcase of how capable the South Korean automotive conglomerate is, their lack of EV manufacturing in the United States will certainly hurt them. This is no thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, which removed the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit for EVs that are imported into the United States. HMG has a manufacturing plant in Georgia, but it was not meant to produce EVs. To combat this, and also as the South Korean conglomerate's continued long-term commitment to the North American market, HMG recently broke ground for the construction of a new battery and EV manufacturing plant located in Savannah, which is also in the state of Georgia. The manufacturing plant will meet HMG's goals of selling more than three million EVs annually by 2030. The Kia EV9 and Hyundai Ioniq 7, both of which are massive three-row EVs that have been designed with American buyers in mind, are set to be manufactured in this state-of-the-art facility that's destined to start operating in the first half of 2025.
Moving Forward, HMG Will Be An EV Force To Be Reckoned With
Despite the challenges and setbacks, you can trust HMG to build an EV that will be very desirable - even if you aren't convinced about owning an EV. What sets apart Hyundai and Kia EVs from other brands is the fact that these weren't developed simply as a means to comply with a regulation. Instead, these EVs were really designed from scratch to be a viable and desirable replacement for an ICE car. It's one thing to create an affordable EV, but to make one that is able to tug the heartstrings is another feat altogether. Fortunately, that's what HMG's EVs all possess, which is why it's no surprise that the Ioniq 5, Ioniq 6, and EV6 have been released with such huge fanfare on a global scale. That same feat is expected with the good-looking EV9 that's soon to go on sale and the blisteringly-quick Ioniq 5 N that comes with Drift Mode and more than 600 horsepower. Let's also not forget HMG's luxury brand, Genesis. While Genesis has a less diverse EV range in comparison with Kia and Hyundai, it is still pretty much expected that the fruits of HMG's labor will also be adopted by the South Korean luxury brand.