Hyundai adds hybrids at EV-only plant, rising sales throws curveball

Following similar announcements from rivals, Hyundai is adding more hybrids to its lineup as a bridge to its next-gen EVs. Hyundai will add hybrid production lines at its dedicated EV plant in Georgia as demand rises.

Hyundai adds hybrids at its new dedicated EV plant

Hyundai is shaking things up after initially announcing plans to build a $5.5B EV assembly and battery plant in Bryan County, GA.

After hybrids accounted for a larger share of sales in the first quarter, Hyundai plans to add hybrid production at the facility. “It is because we need to cope with sharply rising hybrid demand,” A Hyundai executive said on the company’s Q1 earnings call (via Nikkei Asia).

Hyundai’s EV sales share fell in all major markets in the first three months of 2024 compared to last year, including Korea (4.4% vs. 9%), the US (5.5% vs. 6.6%), and Europe (10.7% vs. 15.9%).

Meanwhile, hybrids accounted for a larger portion of sales in Korea (21% vs. 14.7%), the US (10.9% vs. 10.4%), and Europe (15.7% vs. 15.2%).

Hyundai Q1 2024 sales by region (Source: Hyundai)

Overall, EVs accounted for 4.5% (vs 6.5% in Q1 2023) of the brand’s sales, while hybrids held 9.7% of the share (vs 8.2%). Hyundai’s total auto sales fell 1.5% to 1 million in Q1.

Hyundai is expected to begin production at its GA plant in Q4. The automaker believes electric models, like the IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6, will qualify for the federal EV tax credit, which should help boost demand.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 (left) and IONIQ 6 (right) at Tesla Supercharger (Source: Hyundai)

Once up and running, Hyundai’s Metaplant will be able to build 300,000 EVs annually, which can be expanded to 500,000 if needed.

Hyundai’s first three-row electric SUV, the IONIQ 9, will debut soon. It’s expected to be introduced later this year as Hyundai looks to boost sales in key segments.

Electrek’s Take

The news comes as several automakers, like Ford, GM, and even sister company Kia, announced similar plans to introduce more hybrids to their lineups.

Despite this, Hyundai’s EV sales are still climbing in key markets. Hyundai’s EV sales doubled in March in the US, its most important market, with Q1 sales up 62%, also a record.

Hyundai Motor America CEO Randy Parker assured, “Demand for our vehicles, especially EVs, remains high.” The Korean automaker looks to satisfy the growing demand for hybrids with added production in GA.

Hyundai already has some of the cheapest EVs in the US, with the Hyundai Kona Electric (starting under $33,00), the IONIQ 6 (starting at $37,500), and IONIQ 5 (starting at $41,800).

To sweeten the deal, Hyundai is offering a massive $7,500 cash offer that can bring prices down to nearly nothing. If you’re in the market for a new EV, now may be the best time to get started. You can use our links below to find deals on Hyundai EVs at a dealer near you.

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