According to Hyundai France, SUVs may lose ground with tomorrow’s wave of electric vehicles

Sales of electric cars are increasing. Purchase bonuses and tougher rules punishing hot cars have already helped, but they’ve also benefited from a jump in petrol prices. “After the price hike at the pump, we saw overnight demand increase from 20% to 40%,” Lionel French Keogh, General Manager of Hyundai in France.


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The result: The South Korean brand’s hybrid and electric models grew by 29% and 25% respectively in France last year. Driving a 4.1% increase in registrations, locomotives reached a record 47,106 cars in France. A significant performance in the tricolor market, which declined by 7.8% last year.

The Asian manufacturer wants to go even further this year by launching the second-generation Kona SUV only in electric and hybrid versions. However, the French general manager is not fooled, electric cars are still very expensive, with models available at around €40,000 on average. According to him, in addition to the efficiency of electric batteries, it is necessary to pay attention to the charging time of cars.

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SUVs cheat… for how long?

One thing is for sure, SUVs are popular. Criticized by some who see them as polluting or dangerous to other road users, sales have not stopped climbing in recent years. Hyundai is no exception to this rule: its two most popular models are the Tucson SUV and the Kona SUV. The South Korean also noted strong growth in the B-segment in SUVs (city cars like the Kona), which will account for 5.2% of sales in 2022, up from 0.5% in 2017. The same is true for the C category (IONIQ 5 or Tucson), which accounts for 6% of the group’s sales, against 2.8% in 2014.

A model that appeals to all manufacturers, but for how long? The very high cost of these vehicles, especially if they are electric, as well as their weight will potentially be a brake in the future. To lower the selling price of electric vehicles, Lionel French Keogh sees several possible developments in the market, such as a reduction in the number of vehicles per household, but above all a reduction in price. battery weight reduction.

“Electric sedans will gradually enter the market, which will reduce the sales of SUVs. Sedans are lighter, which is an advantage for electrics. » A forecast that goes against the current trend, but highlights the main problems of the electricity market. “We thought for a long time that the popularization of electricity would reduce costs, but this is far from proven. » Boss has repeatedly stressed the importance of battery efficiency to meet this cost issue for new cars, ahead of a ban on the sale of new thermal vehicles in Europe in 2035.

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Big ambitions for 2023

Hyundai performed very well in 2022, especially in sales to professionals, up 14% compared to 2021, but down 7% in the overall market. These increased results were made possible by the company’s component storage strategy, which allowed the group to limit supply problems in its vehicles. The brand was also able to rely on its factories in Europe, especially Konas, which was assembled in the Czech Republic, thus avoiding the problems associated with Covid in China.

In addition, Hyundai is clearly showing its ambitions for 2023 with the launch of the IONIQ 6 in the first quarter, which will be priced the same as the IONIQ 5, with an additional 100 km of range and a completely redesigned design. Other flagship models such as the i30, Santa Fe or Tucson will also be updated for this new year.

The brand also wants to improve its distribution network by favoring telemarketers “for people who want to consume on their couch”. A new sales tool that the group wants to revive in 2021, in line with the trend of online shopping. For the ambitions of the results announced for the new year, the brand remains cautious and hopes to keep its market share at the same level until 2022. It remains to be seen whether demand will continue with inflation and inflation continuing. purchase has decreased sharply. In January, sales of most manufacturers, including the Hyundai brand, fell by 20%.