“Brand loyalty doesn’t seem to be as strong in EVs,” says Hyundai boss

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Sharply-styled SUV was pitched above Hyundai’s normal offerings but market has not faltered.

Hyundai’s European chief Michael Cole has admitted the firm has been surprised how successful the Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV has been at winning over customers from premium brands.

The sharply-styled SUV is the first in a line of models from the Ioniq sub-brand that uses the Hyundai Motor Group’s bespoke electric E-GMP platform. It was joined last year by the Hyundai Ioniq 6 sedan, with the larger Ioniq 7 SUV set to follow next year.

Due to the higher cost of EVs, the Ioniq range is pitched above where Hyundai has traditionally been positioned, but has been a sales hit.

Asked if there was a limit to how premium a future Hyundai could be pitched, Cole said: “Our experience with Ioniq 5 would almost suggest no. It’s brought such a rich conquest mix, and it’s probably a higher ratio of customers from premium brands than we’d anticipated. There is not necessarily a limit.

“With Ioniq 7 there was a bit of hesitation a year ago prior to Ioniq 5 about whether it was a car for Europe – but with the Ioniq 5 100 per cent think it’s a car that we can sell in Europe, and we will capture some premium brand customers. Brand loyalty doesn’t seem to be as strong in EVs.”

But Cole ruled out a wholesale premium switch for Hyundai, adding: “We want to keep the customer base we’ve got, we’re not trying to change our whole outlook, but we believe we can reach a whole new customer as well with EVs.”

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