Volvo came up with Polestar. GM says it wants Cadillac to sell only electric cars in the future. FCA may turn Maserati into an all-electric brand as well. Hyundai decided to follow this trend, but we did not expect to see that happen with Ioniq. Forget about the car: that is now the name of the entire electric division of the South Korean automaker.
That does not necessarily mean the Ioniq will disappear: it may be only one more product of that brand. Its first new member will be called Ioniq 5, which is the production name for the 45 electric concept presented at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. It will be put for sale in early 2021. Why not call it Ioniq 45? We have no idea, but that would have been a good decision.
Hyundai says the idea with the new brand is not only to sell EVs but also to “offer customer-centric EV experiences centered on connected lifestyle solutions.” As there is no example of what that means, we’ll take that as a typical marketing speech for now. On the other hand, the brand’s motto, “I’m In Charge,” is a win.
The Ioniq 5 will be the first of three new EVs the new brand intends to introduce until 2025. The next ones will be the Ioniq 6, and the Ioniq 7. The first will be the production version of the Prophecy concept, which was supposed to appear at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show before the COVID-19 pandemic got in the way. The Ioniq 7 will be a large SUV, scheduled to premiere in early 2024.
If you think they have these numbers because they are in a sequence, that’s not the case. SUVs will present odd numbers, and even ones will identify sedans. That is clearly aiming at the Chinese market, where sedans and SUVs top the sale charts. Would this be the reason for Hyundai to present them as products of a new brand?
The strategy seems confusing, especially with the vehicles Hyundai chose to have. The 45 was a celebration of the company’s first car, the Pony, presented 45 years before the concept’s introduction. Yet, it will be the first vehicle of a new brand. Lucky charm, perhaps? What about the Prophecy? It was supposed to reinvent Hyundai’s brand identity.
Those are not the only intriguing elements of this story. What happens to the original Ioniq? Will it become the Ioniq 4? Ioniq 2? Will it just disappear, considering Hyundai will have only pure EVs under the new brand?
The Hyundai Kona Electric is also a mystery. Will it be rebranded? Does it mean Hyundai will cease to offer electric versions of its cars? None of that has an answer in the press release the company shared with us. We already sent Hyundai these very questions and will tell you what the answers are as soon as we have them.
What Hyundai already told us is that all these new Ioniq products will be built over E-GMP, or Electric Global Modular Platform. It is very likely that future electric Kia models will also have it given Kia does not decide to create its own electric brand as well.
To celebrate the new brand, Hyundai created a gigantic letter Q when the London Eye was reopened. That indicates this letter will probably be the logo for the new brand, yet to be revealed. If you check the images released by Hyundai, all cars still bear the stylized H that represents the South Korean company. One way or the other, Hyundai’s are what these cars will always be, regardless of the logo they present. We know who is in charge, right?