Hyundai invests more in Georgia to produce hybrids

(Credit: Hyundai)

Hyundai Motor Co. has decided to invest more in its upcoming Georgia plant to produce hybrids amidst the slowing demand for electric vehicles (EVs). 

Hyundai’s Georgia Metaplant was supposed to be a dedicated factory for EV production. However, Hyundai and a few more legacy automakers have mentioned a slowing demand for electric vehicles and have turned to hybrid production to recover losses. 

Earlier this month, the South Korean automaker was considering hybrid production at its upcoming Georgia plant. During its recent Q1 2024 earnings Call, Hyundai officially pulled the trigger on hybrid production in Georgia.

In the first quarter, Hyundai Motor reported an operating profit of over 3.5 trillion won (US$2.5 billion), and sales reached a record high of over 40 trillion won (US$29 billion). 

“There was a big decline in EV sales, but those of hybrids — a high-margin product—contributed to the high profitability,” explained Hyundai’s CFO Seung Jo Lee. 

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) accounted for 4.5% of its total shipment in the first quarter, down 6.5% from a year ago. Meanwhile, Hyundai reported seeing its hybrid sales increase by nearly 17% year-over-year to almost 98,000 units. The South Korean automaker sold approximately 947,000 units in the first quarter, down 4% year-over-year. 

Hyundai isn’t the only legacy automaker turning to hybrids while EV demand slows. Ford postponed EV launches to focus on hybrid production. Earlier this year, General Motors CEO Mary Barra talked about bringing the company’s plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to North America

Tesla has also acknowledged a slump in EV demand. During its recent earnings call, however, Tesla reiterated its stance that EVs are the future of the automobile industry. 

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Hyundai invests more in Georgia to produce hybrids
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