Its global chief operating officer recently spoke at CES.
At the recent Consumer Electronics Show, Hyundai's Global Chief Operating Officer, Jose Munoz, was on hand to answer media questions. Since the ongoing global semiconductor shortage continues to haunt the automotive industry, Munoz had quite a bit to say about that.
According to Munoz, Hyundai cannot afford to depend on external factors to control its destiny. "So, all OEM groups are making efforts to be self-dependent. And this is not an exception for us," he told reporters in Las Vegas.
To date, Hyundai has handled the shortage better than most by prioritizing products that are in demand. Unfortunately, this strategy is only relevant in third-world countries, where the popular models require fewer chips.
In the USA, it's a different story. The Tucson, Santa Fe, and Santa Cruz are Hyundai's big sellers, not to mention the Genesis brand tripling its sales over the last year. These are all feature-heavy cars that require thousands of chips. In short, Hyundai is growing in the SUV, EV, and luxury segments.
"We have now the best portfolio we've ever had to be very competitive in the US market based upon these three big trends of the market," said Munoz.
"Having our industrial power, I think, is a key strategy to try to localize the production of chips. Not this year, because, as you know, this is a big picture that takes quite a lot of time and big investment to increase the production of chips," said Munoz.
From that statement, we gather that Hyundai will invest another chunk of money to start producing its own chips, explicitly aimed at the automotive industry. Ford and GM have also announced plans to combat the shortage by teaming up with the semiconductor manufacturing sector.
Considering EVs are Hyundai's next big move, it will limit the number of dealerships allowed to sell Ioniq models. This should remove some of the manufacturing burdens, at least for now.
"We have some determined selectivity criteria for those Hyundai dealers who are going to be Ioniq 5 dealers. One of the criteria to become an Ioniq dealer is to provide charging infrastructure. And we are getting a lot of support from the global headquarters to ensure that we are able to apply, also to the right markets, the supercharging capability," said Munoz.