Michael Cole, President and CEO of Hyundai Europe, has spent over 35 years in the mobility industry in practically all areas of the business from retail to sales, to marketing and more. Now, as he leads Hyundai Europe toward a more intuitive, sustainable, and greener future in mobility, he is drawing on his years of experience and desire to make a positive impact in the world his children will grow up in.
During his press conference at IFA 2020 Special Edition, Cole recalled when he received his first car and how it was really just a way to get from A to B. The pace of change in mobility is much faster now, but Hyundai is poised to tackle these changes that, to them, are more of a catalyst for new opportunities. Hyundai is shifting from just a car company to a smart mobility company, but to do that, they have to consider two factors: the mobility device itself and the mobility services. The latter is something somewhat new for Hyundai, and they really had to look at how consumers want to use their mobility whether it be through a subscription service or a car sharing.
In addition to creating a roadmap for sustainable change, Hyundai has also been investing heavily in the future of mobility–some 40B euros within the next five years to be exact. They are also investing 6.7B euros to fuel cell technology by 2030.
“As part of that drive to become a mobility solution provider and an innovative and eco-conscious company, electrification really is a key strategy,” says Cole.
For Hyundai, that means a goal of 670,000+ zero-emission vehicles sold annually by 2025 worldwide, and they are more than prepared to meet that goal. In the first half of 2020, almost 25% of Hyundai’s sales in Europe were electrified vehicles. By 2025, Hyundai is looking to expand its electrified models to 44 options in total with 23 of those vehicles being eclectic models.
Hyundai is also making investments in startups to drive innovation. Hyundai Cradle currently operates out of five offices across the world in Silicon Valley, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Beijin, and Seoul. This not only ensures Hyundai is on the leading edge of innovation, Cole says, but it also encourages these companies to take risks and pursue the innovations of tomorrow.
As Hyundai looks ahead to its battery electric vehicle (BEV) offerings, the Ioniq brand is a big part of their strategy. Over the next five years, Hyundai will be launching three Ioniq vehicles: IONIQ5, IONIQ6, and IONIQ7. The original IONIQ model launched in 2016 as the world’s first and only model to offer all three electrified power trains: hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and full-battery electric. Project IONIQ also developed products beyond just “normal mobility” to include IONIQ scooters, and fully autonomous concept cars.
IONIQ is based off of a new platform, Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) that will allow Hyundai to bring these vehicles to market that have faster charging and longer driving range. Integrated within this brand is Hyundai’s goal to lead the global EV market, starting with IONIQ5.
“While other manufacturers are just beginning to pursue their zero-emissions vehicles, Hyundai has already had a very diverse powertrain lineup on the market,” says Cole.
The next step, he says, is to build greater relationships with Hyundai customers. Through IONIQ, Hyundai is seeking to redefine the customer experience by creating both a connected, personalized in-car environment and expanding the infrastructure for zero-emission mobility. Hyundai is really looking to expand the EV charging infrastructure because, no matter how good their cars may be, no one will buy them if there isn’t a convenient place to charge them. The bigger picture for Hyundai here is a full-scale ecosystem and a holistic approach towards zero-emission mobility.
“We know we have to change,” Cole remarks. “We know we have to evolve. But for a company like Hyundai, it’s just in our DNA to be a challenger and an innovative company. We think we have a great opportunity to position ourselves as a leading tech company and well as a mobility provider.