Last week, South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co announced that it will invest 200 billion rupees (USD 2.45 billion) in Tamil Naidu over the next 10 years to bolster its electric vehicle (EV) production in India.
SNE Research which provides global market research and consulting to the rechargeable batteries industry ranked Hyundai as the top sixth EV carmakers by sales in 2022. The Asian carmaker is ramping up its production capabilities as it aims to become one of the world’s top three electric vehicle manufacturers by 2030.
The South Korean car manufacturer whose brands include Hyundai, Kia and Genesis delivered 510,000 EV units last year, an increase of 40.9 per cent from 2021, according to SNE Research. First place went to China’s BYD, which delivered 1.87 million units, followed by Tesla with 1.31 million units. Germany’s Volkswagen and China’s Geely took fourth and fifth places, respectively.
CEO Jaehoon Chang told CNBC, “We are now developing two more platforms and that will enable us to have 18 models by 2030. And we are (aiming) to achieve 2 million EV sales around 2030.”
The carmaker is investing heavily in research and development, building new plants and platforms as well as expanding EV lines and production capacity.
“We are now developing two more platforms and that will enable us to have 18 models by 2030. And we are (aiming) to achieve 2 million (annual) EV sales around 2030,” Hyundai CEO Chang said.
Its EVs are currently developed on an advanced bespoke EV platform, the Hyundai Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). The 2021 Ioniq 5 crossover SUV was the first model in Hyundai’s EV-focused sub-brand Ioniq to be developed on the E-GMP. Hyundai subsequently launched the Ioniq 6 sedan model in 2022. An EV platform scales the production of future models and reduces development and manufacturing costs.
Hyundai reported a 92 per cent year-on-year increase in net profit for the first quarter of 2023, “mainly driven by the US and Europe,” said Chang.
Hyundai reported a net profit of 3.42 trillion won (USD 2.56 billion), up from 1.78 trillion won in the same period a year ago. Revenue grew 24.7 per cent year-on-year, from 30.3 trillion won to 37.78 trillion won.
Hyundai aspires to make an impact in China’s automotive market but the company’s exposure is very limited at the moment.
“We have a joint venture in China. We are now on a deep dive into how we can regain the competitiveness of the China market,” said CEO Chang. China’s EV sales are expected to hit more than 8 million units in 2023, according to Counterpoint Research.
“I think the first step that we’re looking at is how we can optimise the operational capacity in China. And the next step should be our focus on the product portfolio, which should be attractive to local customers with the comparable software functions, as well as hardware and design features,” said Chang in the CNBC interview.
In 2022, China produced almost two-thirds of all global battery EVs and one in four cars sold in China is an EV. In China, more than 94 brands together offer over 300 models selling for just USD 5,000 to over USD 90,000. Local brands command 81 per cent of the EV market, among which BYD, Wuling, Chery, Changan and GAC are a few of the top players.
In Tamil Nadu’s Chennai, dubbed the Detroit of Asia, Hyundai plans to increase capacity at its factory near Chennai to 850,000 vehicles per year from approximately 775,000. In addition, the automaker’s Indian subsidiary, Hyundai Motor India, will establish a battery pack assembly unit with an annual capacity of 178,000 units and install 100 EV charging stations across the southern state in the next five years.
Besides the Ioniq 5, the newly unveiled Ioniq 6 and new Kona Electric will be assembled in the Jurong facility too. The plant is slated to produce up to 30,000 vehicles a year by 2025.
“We aim to become the number one EV brand in Singapore,” Kang said. That position is currently held by Tesla.