Hyundai & Kia take second place after Tesla in US EV sales

(Credit: Hyundai)

South Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia placed second together in US electric vehicles (EV) sales after Tesla, beating Detroit-based legacy automakers Ford and General Motors.

Hyundai and Kia, along with the Genesis brand, are owned by Hyundai Motor Group, which holds the fourth-largest share in the US car market. Based on sales data from S&P Global, Hyundai Motor Group is behind big names in the global auto market, including Toyota, Ford, and General Motors.

But when it comes to the electric vehicle market in the United States, Hyundai Motor Group is second to lead EV maker Tesla, thanks to its Hyundai and Kia electric vehicles.

“Hyundai and Kia used to be regarded in the US as low-end, unreliable cars. But now, not only are their electric vehicles seen as at least as good as their Tesla equivalents, they are cheaper too. That has led to a very sharp rise in sales in a very short amount of time,” Troy Stangarone, Senior Director at the Korea Economic Institute of America, told the Financial Times (FT).

Hyundai and Kia made up 7.5% of the US EV market, ahead of GM’s Chevrolet brand, which made up 5.9%. Meanwhile, Ford holds a 5.5% share of the US EV market. Tesla remains at the top of the US EV market, holding a share of 57.4%.

Hyundai Motor Group’s share in the US EV market is quite impressive, considering none of its electric vehicles qualify for the Inflation Reduction Act’s $7,500 tax incentives. It would be interesting to see the South Korean Company’s US EV sales after its $7.6 billion electric vehicle factory in Georgia.

In January 2024, Hyundai Motor Group reported selling 33,918 Ioniq 5 and 12,999 Ionia 6 electric vehicles in 2023 from its Hyundai brand. Meanwhile, the Group sold 18,879 Kia EV6 cars and 1,118 units of its freshly released EV9 vehicles. Inside EVs estimated that Kia sold around 11,000 to 12,000 Niro EVs in 2023.

As can be gleaned from Hyundai and Kia’s 2023 EV sales history in the United States, the South Korean automaker concentrated on specific categories in the US electric vehicle market.

“Hyundai is one of the few companies producing EV sedans, while the big three US automakers focus on making large SUVs and pick-up trucks. This meant it was able to make rapid inroads in the US market despite its relatively late entry into the EV space,” said Kim Tae-Hyun, head of the Mirae Mobility Research Center in Seoul.

Hyundai Motor Group chose to focus on smaller and more affordable electric vehicles for the US EV Market. Based on past Teslarati articles, consumers in the United States–who want to make the EV transition–seek affordable EVs that will take them from point A to point B without worrying about range. Hyundai and Kia’s EVs seem to check off all those boxes.

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Hyundai & Kia take second place after Tesla in US EV sales
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