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Hyundai, Kia seek to boost presence in China market

April 25, 2024 - 16:47 By Jo He-rim
Hyundai Motor Vice President Oh Ik-kyun presents new vehicles at the 2024 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in Beijing, Wednesday. (Hyundai Motor Group)

Hyundai Motor Group on Wednesday unveiled a slew of new vehicles at the 2024 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, ramping up efforts to boost its sluggish presence in the world's largest automotive market.

At the Beijing Auto Show, one of the biggest motor shows that has returned in-person after four years, all three brands of the Korean auto giant -- Hyundai Motor, Kia and Genesis -- promised to introduce electric vehicles tailored for Chinese customers.

Unveiling the Ioniq 5 N high-performance electric vehicle, Hyundai Motor said will come up with a new EV lineup for the Chinese market by 2027.

"With Ioniq 5 N, we will go all-in in China's high-performance EV segment and present our unique EV strategy," said Oh Ik-kyun, Hyundai Motor's vice president.

"Hyundai's research institutes in Korea and China are working together to develop a new EV model tailored to the local Chinese market. We will come up with a new EV lineup to tap into China's New Energy Vehicle Market demands by 2027."

China is the world’s largest market for EVs. According to SNE Research, a market tracker, about 60 percent of the world's EVs, or 8.41 million units, were sold in China in 2023.

During the auto show on Wednesday, Hyundai also forged a partnership with CATL, the Chinese battery maker leading the global battery market.

At its booth, Hyundai Motor unveiled the revamped all-new Santa Fe and the new Tucson for the first time as well.

Kia showcased its award-winning EV models, including the Kia EV5 long-range model, which is the first EV platform to be produced locally in China.

There the automaker also unveiled the Universal Wheel Drive System, which improved the space usage inside an EV by moving the main drive system components to the vacant space within the wheel hub.

At its 1,100-square-meter showroom, Kia also presented the new Kia Sonet for the Chinese market.

Genesis, the premium brand under the Korean conglomerate group, world-premiered newly designed Electrified G80 is tailored specifically for Chinese customers with an elongated wheelbase and exclusive China-only “Vision Blue” color.

The auto brand also introduced the high-performance Magma program to China, debuting the G80 EV Magma Concept as a global premier, alongside showcases of the X Gran Berlinetta Concept and GV60 Magma Concept.

According to Beijing Auto Show organizers, 117 new cars were to make world premiere, and 41 concept cars and 278 environment-friendly vehicles were to be introduced at this year's event.

Hyundai Motor Group is the world's No. 3 automaker in terms of sales. But the auto giant has been struggling to boost its presence in China, maintaining only about 1 percent of the market share as of 2022.

According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, new car sales across China reached 30.09 million units in 2023, jumping 12 percent on-year. It is the first time the figure has exceeded the 30 million mark.