Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Euisun Chung delivered a global message to his employees invoking the usual corporate pablum: customer-first philosophy, quality-innovation drive and direction for elevating its corporate culture. Dig into his remarks, though, and there are signs Hyundai has big goals for its electric vehicles.
Chung, who oversees both Hyundai and Kia, said in his message, “With the launch of new vehicles based on the recently released electric vehicle platform, the E-GMP (Electric-Global Modular Platform), we plan to provide attractive eco-friendly mobility options that aptly reflect customers’ diverse tastes and needs at more reasonable prices.”
The last four words of that statement are significant: at more reasonable prices. If Hyundai accomplishes that, it could own the global electric vehicle market. How so? Markets like India and China demand cheaper vehicles. Delivering cheaper electric vehicles to those markets gives Hyundai a huge step up toward its goal of selling 1 million EVs worldwide by 2025.
The U.S. market needs an affordable electric vehicle, too. The Chevrolet Bolt is a good EV but it still has a starting price north of $36,000. America needs an EV with an MSRP in the $25,000 to $28,000 range for true success. The Ioniq gets close at $33,000 but a $28,000 EV with a $7,500 tax credit should be a home run for the brand and start to appeal to buyers who are more practical than aspirational. Tesla buyers, frankly, are aspirational with their deep pockets.
The secret ingredient to the cost initiative has to be the E-GMP. It provides various advantages compared to the group’s existing platforms, which have each been engineered predominantly to accommodate internal combustion engines.
This dedicated platform makes it more cost effective for Hyundai to launch its 10-vehicle EV lineup by 2022. Hyundai’s electric vehicle lineup includes seven SUVs and three sedans. The SUVs are Hyundai’s way forward in the U.S. electric vehicle market.
What do you think of Hyundai’s plans? Can it become a global leader in affordable electric vehicles? Comment below.
Keith Griffin covers Hyundai and Kia at Torque News. He has been writing continuously about cars since 2002. Keith used to be a researcher/writer for US News & World Report, as well as numerous car sites, including Carfax and Car Gurus, and a contributor to The Boston Globe. Most recently, Keith was the managing editor for American Business Media. Follow Keith at @indepthauto on Twitter, on @LinkedIn and on his Indepth Auto Facebook page.