Hyundai Motor has vowed to focus more on electric vehicles (EVs) in 2021 in a bid to make its way into the rapidly growing eco-friendly car market, the carmaker said Tuesday.
"Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we sold around 100,000 EVs in 2020. This is a 55 percent increase year-on-year and the market portion of EVs accounted for about 5 percent of the total sales," a Hyundai Motor official told investors during a conference call.
The company added that its EV sales goal in the global car market this year is 160,000, up about 38 percent from 2020.
"The Ioniq 5 will be first rolled out in Europe at the end of March. Starting with Europe, the new EV model will then be launched in Korea and the United States," a company official said, adding that the company will add an EV model of the Mistra, a sedan sold exclusively in China. Also, Hyundai's Genesis luxury brand will have two new EV models ― the Genesis G80 EV and its first EV-only model the Genesis JW.
Hyundai also aims to sell up to 720,000 cars in the U.S., one of its core markets. "By selling 720,000 cars in the U.S. this year, we aim to improve our market share to 4.8 percent, up 0.4 percentage points from last year," a company representative said.
"Our strategy in the U.S. market in 2021 is to achieve a balanced growth between sales volume and profits. We also plan to strengthen the lineups of Genesis and eco-friendly cars," he added.
What is surprising is the company giving the launch date of its Santa Cruz pickup truck. The official said the company will roll out its first pickup truck in the U.S. market in the second half of this year as well as the Ioniq 5.
Hyundai first unveiled a concept model of the four-door pickup truck in 2015, hoping it would help improve its sales volume in the U.S. market where pickup trucks and off-road vehicles are much in demand.
Compared to its Japanese rivals Toyota, Honda and Nissan, which have enjoyed steady popularity over the years with their pickup trucks, an absence of these in Hyundai's U.S. lineup has been considered its weak point.
Overall, Hyundai Motor showed a fair performance in 2020, posting an operating profit of 1.64 trillion won ($1.48 billion) in the fourth quarter, a 40.9 percent increase from the same period in 2019.
Its full-year operating profit was at 2.78 trillion won, 23 percent down from 3.6 trillion won in 2019. The company posted sales of 103.99 trillion won, down 1.7 percent year-on-year.