Hyundai accelerates shift to EVs, plans to halt two engine plants

Hyundai is accelerating its shift to EVs as demand continues building. The South Korean automaker announced it will halt operations at two engine parts plants as it transitions its network from ICE vehicles.

After hitting its highest exports ever last month, Hyundai is doubling down on EVs. The automaker’s exports surged nearly 30% YOY in a record-setting performance.

Hyundai credited the growth to the rising popularity of its electric models. New EVs based on its E-GMP platform are helping improve its sales mix.

Dedicated EVs like the IONIQ 5 electric SUV, IONIQ 6, and Kia EV6 were a big reason for the growth.

The company said its electric models are “playing a major role” in helping secure leadership in the global EV market. In the US, Hyundai and Kia had their best November sales months ever, with 16 straight months of year-over-year (YOY) growth.

According to registration data, Hyundai and Kia ranked second in US EV sales, behind only Tesla in Q3. Hyundai and Kia accounted for 7.5% of the market, topping GM’s Chevy (5.9%) and Ford (5.5%).

The uptick comes despite Hyundai EVs not qualifying for the $7,500 EV tax credit (only through leasing).

2023 Hyundai IONIQ 5 (Source: Hyundai)

Hyundai fast-tracks shift to EVs

Hyundai broke ground on its massive $1.5B dedicated EV plant in Ulsan last month. The Ulsan complex is Hyundai’s largest manufacturing site. Once mass production begins in 2026, the new plant will be able to produce 200,000 EVs a year.

The company said Ulsan will “lay the foundation for future growth in the era of electrification.” Last month, Hyundai announced it would suspend operations at its main plant in South Korea to focus on construction.

2024 Hyundai IONIQ 6 SE (Source: Hyundai)

According to a new Reuters report, Hyundai is shutting down operations at two engine parts plants in the region next year as it looks to speed up the shift to EVs.

The engine parts plants have been in operation since 1991. According to the report, they will be shut down in January and October.

A Hyundai spokesperson said it was looking at outsourcing some engine components manufacturing for now.

Hyundai IONIQ 7 (SEVEN) electric SUV concept (Source: Hyundai)

Electrek’s Take

While several automakers are slowing their transition to electric, Hyundai is doubling down. The automaker sees the direction that the industry is headed and wants to get ahead of the curve.

Hyundai aims to be a top three EV producer globally by 2030, with 31 total all-electric models.

Next year, Hyundai is expected to release its first three-row electric SUV, the IONIQ 7 (concept pictured above), as it expands into new markets. It’s also reportedly developing a cheaper IONIQ 2 EV to sit below the IONIQ 5.

With new EV models in key markets, Hyundai will be a brand to watch over the next few years.

What do you guys think? Can Hyundai be a top three EV maker by 2030? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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