Hyundai Motor Group, which includes the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands, is one of the legacy automakers that have invested massively in new-generation electric vehicles.
The company is reaping the benefits, with Jose Muñoz, Hyundai's global COO, saying at the Los Angeles Auto Show that investments in EVs are already achieving profitability and paying off with growing US market share. However, the executive noted that transitional vehicles such as hybrids are also driving the company's growth in the US.
While Hyundai Motor Group is the No. 2 electric vehicle seller in the US behind Tesla, it's also rapidly gaining market share and delivering record profits to dealers by providing a wide range of future-forward vehicles, Muñoz said at the Automotive News Congress in Los Angeles, noting that Hyundai sees this period as a transition period.
"We at Hyundai thought about how we navigate the transition. Based on the information we get from our customers, not all are ready to transition to an EV in just one shot."
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Muñoz, who is also CEO of Hyundai and Genesis Motor North America, added that the automaker has all the bases covered when it comes to new propulsion technologies, arguing that Hyundai hybrid buyers are Hyundai EV buyers of tomorrow.
"We decided to invest in hybrid, hybrid plug-in and electric at the same time. This has given us a great conquest tool to bring customers from other brands. They think about the future, but they want to be sure."
Mind you, Muñoz said the fundamental changes in federal EV incentives brought by the Biden administration's Inflation Reduction Act were "really disappointing for us," with the loss of EV incentives a blow to Hyundai's electrification strategy. He also pointed out that the law was announced in August after Hyundai Motor Group had already committed to spending $10 billion in the US for EV projects through 2025, including a new plant in Georgia.
The automaker is currently in discussions with the Biden administration as government agencies work out the exact rules of the new incentive program, Muñoz added. Hyundai has proposed implementing a three-year transition period for the phaseout of its incentives, which would give it time to build its US assembly plant and joint venture battery plant.