Time to cash in.
Hyundai Motor Group is moving fast expanding its all-electric vehicle lineup. The new Hyundai Ioniq 5 and its corporate cousin, the Kia EV6, are due in dealerships any day now, and the luxury Genesis brand will become EV-only starting in 2025. These are significant changes in a very short period of time but the carmaker isn't done yet. Hyundai executives seemed to have identified a segment most automakers are either ignoring or have failed to realize its potential: small and affordable EVs.
Speaking to Automotive News Europe, Thomas Schemera, Hyundai's global head of marketing, revealed management is strongly considering expanding the all-electric Ioniq sub-brand to smaller cars, all of which would be based on the existing and highly flexible E-GMP architecture.
"It would make sense to extend all the benefits associated with the E-GMP platform to smaller vehicles," he said. It's unknown at this time whether something like an Ioniq 2 or 3 would be sold in the US. Other markets, especially Europe, are prime targets. The Volkswagen Group is also toying with the idea of introducing the ID.1 city car, but a business case has yet to be made. The ID.2, previewed by the ID.Life concept, will arrive in the near future.
Other European brands like Opel, Peugeot, and Renault are also considering a segment entry. But Hyundai is already in a very strong position to do so thanks to that platform and other significant R&D investments that are beginning to pay off. Hyundai knows time is money and it needs to make a decision soon.
"We cannot afford to think about reality but push it to four years down the road," Schemera added. "If they offer cars on that scale for 20,000 euros, we have to have a look and maybe come close or beat it." The executive further hinted a small EV could arrive before 2025 but refused to comment any further.
The fact that Hyundai can move extremely fast on this matter is certainly cause for concern for those aforementioned rivals. They too have flexible platforms to utilize, but Hyundai Motor Group's recent history of making bold decisions means it could become the company to beat. Perhaps it already is.