Hyundai has pledged to have waiting times on its Kona electric vehicle down to between four and six months by the beginning of the second quarter of this year, dropping from the 12 months-plus that it has been since the car launched was in 2018.
“In 2019, we were in a position where supply meant we were managing waiting lists,” Hyundai UK managing director Ashley Andrew told Company Car Today.
“By the end of last year we had satisfied a large part of the waiting list and the business plan this year has more volume coming through.”
The lack of supply – Hyundai only had around 1000 Kona EVs to sell in 2019 – meant the company only retailed its Kona EV, which has an official range of up to 278 miles, through its click-to-buy system, rather than its dealer network, but that will change this year.
“Because we are confident of far greater supply, we can supply through the retailers and will have demonstrators available,” Andrew continued, also confirming that the business market will be a higher priority this year. The lack of cars had impacted the company’s ability to offer cars to fleet customers, but that will change as the year progresses, with the fleet market increasingly keen to source electric vehicles.
“We can sell them EVs, the fleet guys are major numbers in the market,” said Andrew. “If you add all the benefits up and put it all into a cost-of-ownership equation, it becomes a compelling proposition.”
Hyundai’s UK boss claimed the company has carved itself a position as a leader for alternative fuels, with its range also including the hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full electric versions of the Ioniq, and the new hybrid Kona. Registrations of alternative fuels grew 27% last year.
“We have a brand reputation as a front-runner in the technology,” he said. “Key companies are coming to us and the conversation is about EVs.”
According to Andrew, Hyundai will benefit from the increased noise around electric vehicles in 2020 as some big players enter the segment.
“We’ve got a wonderful opportunity, because other manufacturers will come in with exciting products and stimulate demand, but we will have shorter lead times,” he said.