Korean manufacturer remains committed to compact car markets despite competitors axing some offerings.
Hyundai is planning next-generation versions of the Hyundai i10, Hyundai i20 and Hyundai i30 while some rivals are abandoning the segments.
Talking to Automotive Daily Network partner Autocar at the launch of the second-generation Kona crossover, Cole said: “We’re strategising now about what comes beneath [the] Kona long-term. For now, [the] i10, i20, i30 are all still in our plan, even for the next generation. We’re looking at what we have. Exactly what we will have across those three lines, I can’t say today.”
Cole added that the next challenge was to evaluate smaller EVs. He said: “I believe there’s a market below [the] Kona and maybe even in more traditional bodystyles, such as hatchback. It’s in our thinking, rather than necessarily in our long-term plan now, but for the European market, we have to be thinking about that.
“We don’t want to lose any customers, I don’t want to walk away from any customer group. So we have to think about those i10, i20, i30 customers. What could the future with electrification look like for them? It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be [the] Hyundai Kona or Hyundai Ioniq 5. We have to think about what could come sub-Kona.”
While the rising cost of EVs is a concern, Cole noted that the likely higher headline price for the new Kona is likely to be offset, in Europe at least, by incentives and subscription style payments which are becoming popular.
Cole suggested that could also help to make smaller EVs more affordable in the future, saying: “I do believe monthly payments and even moving towards subscription-type scenarios will help. I can see – and this is a personal view, not a corporate decision – a situation where we have a smaller EV that would just go onto subscription, and we keep the vehicle in a programme for five, six, seven years.”