As I’ve said on several of our EV Obsession YouTube shows and in articles, Hyundai has long been seen as a leader in the EV industry. Not because it has had the most aggressive growth targets, unfortunately, but because it has consistently built extremely efficient, attractive, and popular electric cars. This started nearly a decade ago with the Hyundai Ioniq, but the company has improved its game significantly with the IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6.
In fact, as we recently reported, a new Edmunds study finds that Hyundai EVs are the most efficient vehicles in terms of miles charged or added per hour. Excluding different variants of the same model (which Edmunds uses to break down the results), Hyundai and Kia EVs were 3 out of the top 4 models! The Hyundai IONIQ 6 (particularly, the RWD version) was first, the Kia EV6 was second, the Porsche Taycan 4S was third, and the Hyundai IONIQ 5 (dual motor) was fourth. Hyundai has become a clear EV leader.
The news today is that Hyundai’s brand value has gotten a big boost recently, and a big part of that has been its impressive EV chops.
“Hyundai Motor Company today announced that its brand value reached $20.4 billion in Interbrand’s ‘Best Global Brands 2023’, ascending in valuation for 13 straight years,” the company writes. “This represents the third highest year-over-year valuation increase out of 100 brands. The company’s brand rank rose from 35th to 32nd — the first increase in rank since 2016, based in part on Hyundai Motor’s accelerated electrification and future mobility vision.” Just to reiterate, this is a completely independent and widely respected brand ranking.
Hyundai’s brand value according to this analysis was $3.5 billion in 2005, grew to $10 billion in 2014, grew another $4 billion to $14 billion in 2020, and is now $20.4 billion in 2023. Its brand value has grown most significantly in the past few years as Euisun Chung has been Hyundai Motor Group’s Executive Chair. The company is eager to point out Chung’s leadership and the company’s more progressive vision since he took over. “Hyundai Motor’s accelerated success of late can be attributed, in part, to the leadership of the top management team led by Executive Chair Chung. They have played a pivotal role in guiding the company’s strategic direction as a Smart Mobility Solutions Provider in alignment with its vision of ‘Progress for Humanity.’ The driving force behind this transformation is the company’s progressive approach to innovation, technology and product development.” (Side note: Was Chung leaning on the Hyundai PR team to highlight his role in this brand boost? Perhaps. But we have no intel on that.)
“As the automotive industry undergoes a transformation, Hyundai Motor is exploring future mobility solutions to respond to fast-changing consumer needs,” said Sungwon Jee, Senior Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer at Hyundai Motor Company. “We are committed to a better future for all of humanity.”
Well, the South Korean company has figured a couple of things out. One is that we humans like when a company says it’s doing stuff for humans (not just to make more money). Another is that leading on EVs and efficiency is a winning path forward. But it’s not just guesswork from Hyundai. Interbrand itself “attributed its positive assessment of Hyundai Motor to the company’s agile response to the electrification transition, its leadership in the future mobility paradigm shift, and its sincere activities around the brand’s vision of ‘Progress for Humanity,’” Hyundai summarizes.
“Hyundai Motor Company is making big strides in forwarding its vision of ‘Progress for Humanity’ through the IONIQ brand,” said an Interbrand representative. “Hyundai continues to impress with its authentic communication regarding core human values such as sustainability. We look forward to the company’s growth in the evolving automotive industry.” Indeed.
As much as this may come across as PR fluff and manufactured gushing over Hyundai’s current course of action, the fact of the matter is that Hyundai is building great electric cars at great prices and has a plan to do that more and more and more.
Notably, Hyundai also just opened the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center Singapore (HMGICS), and IONIQ 5 robotaxis will be built there — production has already started! These robotaxis will be part of the Motional commercial services fleet in the US starting in 2024. The robotaxi will be capable of limited self-driving in the US. It is “one of the first SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicles to be certified under U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards,” Hyundai reports.
“IONIQ 5 robotaxi is the world’s first fully-integrated autonomous vehicle to be mass-produced on a smart, flexible cell-based production system,” the company adds. This IONIQ 5 robotaxi has been in development for several years.
And, while HMGICS is a ridiculously long acronym, it also seems appropriate for the high-tech robotics and AI work that is apparently going to go on there. And it’s further evidence of why the Hyundai brand keeps climbing up the brand ranking ladder.
“HMGICS has been designed to revolutionize how EVs and other forms of smart mobility solutions — including robotaxi and PBVs — are delivered. Key to this is a cell-based production system that leaves behind the traditional conveyor-belt manufacturing approach to achieve unsurpassed standards of flexibility and automation,” Hyundai writes.
Approximately 50 percent of all tasks are carried out by 200 robots, with humans, robotics and AI systems achieving unprecedented levels of collaboration thanks to integration made possible by the digital twin platform.
Operating as a digital twin Meta-Factory, HMGICS synchronizes the virtual and physical worlds in real time. This enables humans and robots to cooperate in ways not seen before. Employees can simulate tasks in the digital virtual space — or metaverse — while robots physically move components on the production line.
Robots perform assembly, inspection, and production facility organization, and take care of more than 60 percent of component process management, ordering and transportation. This frees humans from repetitive and laborious tasks to focus on more creative and productive duties.
So, there’s that.
“HMGICS will establish itself as one of two Hyundai Motor Group innovation pillars that will lead the company’s future in the electrification era over the next 50 years as part of its challenge to become a 100-year company.” More details and quotes about HMGICS can be found here.
Without a doubt, Hyundai looks like it’s ready to help lead us into a new EV and robotaxi era. And I’m honestly considering a Hyundai electric car as our next automobile. I think the IONIQ 5 actually sits on top of the list overall. It’s that, the Kia EV6, or the Tesla Model Y, but if I was forced to make the decision right now (at 2:34 am), the IONIQ 5 would win the purchase.