SEOUL, May 3 (Korea Bizwire) — With the introduction of dedicated electric vehicles, Hyundai Motor Co.’s all-electric SUV Kona and other EVs derived from combustion engine-based vehicles are expected to be discontinued in line with slowing sales.
The Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association reported that Hyundai produced only 7,731 Kona EVs for the first quarter this year, down by 28.2 percent from the same quarter last year (10,763).
Moreover, at 7,286 vehicles, the vast majority will be exported, with only 984 vehicles remaining to be sold in South Korea.
Kona EV sales are expected to continue for some time, however, thanks to its popularity overseas.
Kia Corp. produced 18,452 Niro EVs in the first quarter this year, tripling its production from last year, to cope with rising demand overseas after selling 14,939 of them overseas. Only 873 Niro EVs have been sold this year in South Korea.
Automobile industry insiders suggest that the introduction of dedicated EVs such as Hyundai’s IONIQ 5 all-electric model and Kia’s all-electric EV6 is slowing down demand for EVs derived from combustion engine models, which will eventually be discontinued.
“The rise of dedicated EVs means the obsolescence of derived models,” said Lee Hang-koo, a researcher at Korea Automotive Technology Institute.
“The process will be slow, however, since carmakers are developing automotive parts that can be shared between EVs and combustion engine-based models.”
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)