This seems to be the opinion of market observers.
Hyundai's electric vehicle range is currently highlighted by the radical Ioniq 5 which was revealed earlier this year. The Ioniq 5 is set to be followed by the Ioniq 6 that although has yet to be officially revealed, we already know some key details about. It will be a midsize sedan with sleek four-door coupe styling and was previewed by the Prophecy concept.
While that all sounds quite promising, when the Ioniq 6 arrives sometime next year, it could spell trouble for the Sonata, one of the brand's longest-running nameplates. A more traditional midsize entrant, the Sonata's days could be numbered.
According to The Korea Herald, there are numerous factors impacting the success of the Sonata sedan. Its recent facelift was not viewed as a success and there are increasingly diverse models to choose from elsewhere.
In July and August this year, Hyundai will be suspending production at its Asan plant for a period of around one month. This plant is where both the Sonata and Grandeur are produced. The Grandeur was once sold in North America but badged as the Azera. The suspension of operations at the Asan plant is viewed as the beginning of the Sonata's phasing out based on the opinion of market observers.
"The idea of suspending the Asan plant and converting it into an EV manufacturing facility is still in progress, with details yet to be confirmed," said an unnamed official. Sonata sedan sales and those of the midsize sedan segment, in general, have declined this year. Although the Ioniq 6 will be similar in size, its electric powertrain and trendier styling could see it supersede the Sonata.
"The Ioniq 6 will be similar to Sonata in size, which makes it easier for the company to convert the production lines," said Lee Hang-gu, an analyst working at the Korea Automobile Technology Institute.
Who knows - Hyundai could be the next automaker to follow the likes of Ford and Buick in culling its traditional sedan lineup.