Published on September 2nd, 2018 | by Steve Hanley0
Production Hell For Hyundai Kona Electric?
September 2nd, 2018 by Steve Hanley
Maybe there’s a story here. Maybe their isn’t. You decide. The numbers are in and they show that Hyundai produced fewer Kona electric SUVs in July than they did in June and by a considerable number. In June, 2,196 of them exited the factory. In July, only 1,775 were manufactured — nearly a 20% decrease.
Why? The Kona is a popular model in the compact SUV segment. The stylish Kona comes in several trim levels from the base front wheel drive model with a conventional gasoline engine to the full zoot all-wheel drive model with a turbo motor. Since it went on sale a year ago, sales in Europe have increased to more than 5,000 units a month. US sales are averaging around 4,000 cars a month.
But for the CleanTechnica faithful, we care little about gasmobiles. We want to know about battery electric cars and whether the zero-emissions revolution is gaining momentum. Since SUVs are a hot market segment and compact SUVs — often called cute utes — are the hottest part of that segment, the fact that Hyundai has a battery electric Kona with 258 miles of range in its model lineup should be good news. We can get an idea of the demand for that car from the fact that Norwegian customers have already placed nearly 7,000 firm orders for it.
So, why isn’t Hyundai making more of them and getting them into the hands of buyers who are ready, willing, and able to plunk down their hard-earned cash for one? Hyundai did not respond to CleanTechnica immediately to a request for more information on this subject, so we are left to speculate. The first thought that comes to mind is that Hyundai can’t get the batteries it needs from LG Chem to make more cars. The second thought that comes to mind is that Hyundai is going through its own version of the “production hell” that afflicted Tesla earlier this year as it struggled to get the Model 3 assembly process ramped up.
The takeaway is that something is constraining production of the Kona Electric and Hyundai needs to figure how to fill the pipeline with these cars as soon as possible. Customers are waiting.
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