This year, the entire world was incomparably unstable and depressed due to the COVID 19 pandemic. The chaotic situation still continues, but on the other hand, there are strong movements to survive and overcome it. Hyundai Motor Group also carried out various activities last year to overcome the difficulty. Here are the eight keywords representing the activities.
Contactless – In all areas of society such as life, culture, and industry, ‘contactless’ is the keyword that drew the most attention this year. In order to prevent the spread of COVID 19, individuals have minimized travels or meetings, and employees have worked from home while providing non-face-to-face services for customers. Hyundai also switched its services to non-face-to-face. Most of the models released in 2020, such as the Genesis GV80, the Hyundai All-New Avante(Elantra), and Kia’s 4th generation Sorento, were showcased online.
Among them, The All-New Tucson was unveiled through Hyundai’s newly established Channel Hyundai. Channel Hyundai is a digital media platform that can be conveniently accessed anytime, anywhere through smart TVs and websites. You can watch various lifestyle videos related to automobiles, and you can examine new cars in detail through realistic 3D images. Kia Motors also introduced augmented reality technology to the 4th generation carnival online launch show to deliver a more vibrant look of the new car.
Hyundai hosted a live online broadcast service of the Hyundai N Festival, the largest one-make race in Korea, for domestic motorsports fans as well as a new car launching the show. The company also planned and held the ‘STAGE X Drive-In Concert’.
Future Mobility – Hyundai unveiled its vision for realizing a dynamic human-centered, future city through the ‘Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2020)’ held in Las Vegas, USA, last January. There are three types of future mobility: UAM (Urban Air Mobility), PBV (Purpose Built Vehicle), and the Hub. Hyundai plans to become a ‘smart mobility solution company’ based on its future smart mobility vision, centered on UAM-PBV-Hub.
UAM is a solution that can use the sky as a new pathway by combining PAV (Personal Air Vehicle) and urban aviation mobility service. Vehicles such as the PAV concept S-A1 that Hyundai unveiled at CES 2020 will be used for UAM solutions. The S-A1 is equipped with electric propulsion that allows vertical take-off and landing and is designed to accommodate five passengers, including a pilot.
PBV is not just a simple means of transportation, but a new concept of mobility that accommodates various lifestyles. PBV can be various leisure facilities from restaurants, cafes, and hotels to socially essential facilities such as hospitals and drug stores, providing customized services that passengers need during the travel. The Hub is a space that connects UAM in the sky and PBV on the ground, and it also plays the role of a new kind of community where people interact in various ways.
Luxury – Genesis, a luxury brand of Hyundai Motor Group, completed the lineup by introducing a total of four new models to the market this year, including a facelift model, a partially modified model, and a new model. It is also noteworthy that this year’s lineup applied a wing face design that embodies Genesis’ wing emblem to enhance the brand uniformity.
The Genesis models released this year are ‘The All New G80’, the origin of the Genesis, ‘GV80’, the brand’s first SUV model, ‘The New G70’, the most dynamic model in Genesis, and ‘GV70’, a luxury mid-size SUV.
With its lineup, Genesis also introduced a new order system ‘Your GENESIS,’ for its differentiated customer approach. When purchasing any Genesis released this year, you can combine options among the engine, drivetrain, seat arrangement, body shade, wheels, interior design, and trim – and there can be 104,000 choices in Your GENESIS.
EV – This year, Hyundai launched Ioniq, a brand exclusively for next-generation electric vehicles. Through the launch of the brand, it suggested its philosophy ‘Progress electrified for connected living’ and showed their will to focus on providing a new mobility experience to consumers as well as electrification.
Hyundai plans to complete the lineup of Ionic by 2024 by releasing a total of three types of exclusively electric vehicles, including a semi-midsize CUV, a mid-size sedan, and a large SUV. The first car is the semi-midsize CUV Ioniq 5, which was produced based on the ‘EV Concept 45’ presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2019, and is scheduled to be released next year. For reference, Ioniq 6, a mid-sized electric car based on the concept model Prophecy, will be released in 2022, and the Ioniq 7, a large SUV electric car, will be released in 2024.
Hyundai also unveiled E-GMP, a platform exclusively for electric vehicles that will be applied to the Ionic models this year. E-GMP is designed with an optimized structure exclusively for EVs, so it can run more than 500km with a single charge and offers 80% charging within 18 minutes when using an 800v ultra-fast charging facility. The era of EVs is coming – soon EVs will drive 100km on a 5-minute charge. In addition, unlike the internal combustion engine platform, the floor is flat and the space occupied by the engine, transmission, and fuel tank is greatly reduced, allowing an innovative increase in indoor space.
Performance – Hyundai, which introduced the high-performance brand ‘N’ in the market by releasing i30 N and Veloster N, then launched the N-line model in 2020, inheriting the sensitivity and high-performance DNA of the N brand. The first model unveiled is the all-new Avante N line, equipped with a Smartstream gasoline 1.6 turbo engine, with a maximum output of 204 horsepower and a maximum torque of 27.0 kgf·m. Unique design elements were applied, such as the grille, the N-line emblem, and the sporty front bumper.
The New Kona N Line, which was unveiled along with the improved product model, is a model that focuses on the joy of driving and a distinctive style based on sporty design and strong driving performance. The most notable feature is that the suspension and steering are more dynamically tuned and the brake performance is strengthened to realize sporty driving performance, and the dynamic image is added with the application of a bumper and wheels exclusively for the N line, and a single twin tip muffler.
The most recently unveiled Sonata N line models appeared in a more dynamic form by adding the sporty sense of high-performance N to an innovative design completed based on ‘Sensuous Sportiness’. On the front part, a parametric jewel pattern grille exclusively for the N line is applied, and on the rear part, a black high-glossy bumper, dual twin-tip muffler, and aerodynamically designed spoiler are in harmony.
The Sonata N line offers an excellent driving performance as it has the DNA of the high-performance brand N. Smartstream gasoline 2.5 turbo engine and 8-speed wet dual-clutch transmission (N DCT) deliver a maximum output of 290 hp and a maximum torque of 43.0 kgf m. Based on this, it reaches 100 km/h in just 6.2 seconds. It has the most powerful performance among all Sonatas (With Launch Control on).
Smart Factory – Hyundai Motor Group unveiled its vision of the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center in Singapore (HMGICS) in October this year. This is an open research base of Hyundai Motor Group to build an innovative mobility ecosystem in the west of Singapore in 2022. It is a place to study and demonstrate the value chain for auto services such as ordering, production, delivery, test drive, and various services.
One of the most notable parts of HMGICS is the application of smart factory technology. HMGICS is pursuing a small-scale production system for multiple kinds of vehicles that flexibly responds to market changes and demand based on an intelligent manufacturing platform that combines various advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and robotics. Apart from the existing process of assembling a single model along the production line, it is characterized by being able to simultaneously produce various models in an assembly environment composed of cell units.
Hyundai Motor Group plans to build an ecosystem called E-FOREST using HMGICS as a testbed. E-FOREST is a smart factory brand launched by the Hyundai Motor Group last year and is the production base of the group, which is responsible for producing future mobility such as purpose-based mobility (PBV) as well as finished vehicles.
Motor Sports – Hyundai Motor World Rally Team proved that it is the strongest team in the WRC by winning the championship in the 2020 WRC as well as the previous season. The 2020 WRC was held in chaos; it halted after Round 3 then resumed due to COVID 19, and was reduced to 7 rounds. However, thanks to the brilliant performance of Sordo and Neuville in the sixth round, the Hyundai team beat its rival Toyota and regained the leading position in the manufacturer’s championship, succeeded in a takeover in the last seventh round, and made the team the winner for two consecutive years.
Hyundai, which has strengthened its position by participating in motorsports such as WCR and WTCR, will also participate in the electric vehicle race PURE ETCR, which is considered the next generation motorsports. PURE ETCR is eco-friendly motorsport with its biggest feature replacing conventional engines with electric motors and batteries in the existing TCR race cars. Hyundai announced its participation in the ETCR at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany in September last year, and officially declared its participation in the 2021 season by unveiling the Veloster N ETCR race car, the first among other participants in the PURE ETCR.
Eco-friendly – Hyundai Motor Group is steadily introducing eco-friendly vehicles to the market by mass-producing hydrogen-electric vehicles for the first time in the world and releasing various electric vehicle models. This year, too, various eco-friendly models were introduced, and the most notable change among them is the company’s increased efforts to supply eco-friendly commercial vehicles.
In July, Hyundai established the world’s first mass-production system for hydrogen-powered heavy-duty trucks and entered the European eco-friendly commercial vehicle market with exports to Switzerland. Hyundai is planning to supply a total of 1,600 units of the hydrogen-electric heavy-duty truck ‘XCIENT Fuel Cell’ to Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility, a joint venture between Hyundai Motor Company and H2, a Swiss hydrogen solution company, by 2025. This export is merely a cue; the company plans to supply more than 25,000 hydrogen-electric trucks to the European market by 2030.
Hyundai is steadily distributing hydrogen electric buses to the domestic eco-friendly commercial vehicle market through consultations with local governments. In July 2020, the first hydrogen-electric bus started its operation in Jeonju, and recently, a hydrogen-electric bus has also started operation in Seoul. Seoul plans to supply 1,000 eco-friendly hydrogen electric buses and build 11 hydrogen charging stations by 2025.
Hyundai Motor Group is releasing various models of commercial electric vehicles as well as commercial hydrogen-electric vehicles. Hyundai launched the first medium-sized electric bus ‘County Electric’ and a small commercial electric vehicle Porter 2 Electric in Korea, offering cost-efficiency, eco-friendliness, safety, and convenience. And Kia Motors also introduced a small-sized commercial electric vehicle, the Bongo 3 EV.
In 2020, most industries around the world faced a huge crisis caused by COVID 19. In particular, global automakers’ sales volume declined significantly from the previous year. However, Hyundai Motor Group is overcoming its difficulties by rapidly establishing service strategies tailored to the non-face-to-face era and introducing various models to the market. The pandemic is expected to last for the time being in 2021 as well. However, Hyundai Motor Group will continue to introduce a variety of products and services with innovative technologies through a safe platform based on many experiences gained through 2020.