Edgar Carranza
COO
Hyundai Mexico
/
View from the Top

For Smooth Electromobility Transition, Collaboration is Necessary

By Sofía Garduño | Fri, 06/17/2022 - 10:35

Q: What are the emerging Mexican consumer trends regarding vehicle sales and how does Hyundai adapt its global offering to address them?

A: The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the way our clients consume, making SUVs more popular. Creta was among the vehicles successfully positioned in the market and it became one of the most acquired products in the SUV category. However, the sedan segment is still the most important in the Mexican market. In 2021, Hyundai’s sales grew over 15 percent in comparison to 2020.

The green market and electrification are other important trends. Hyundai launched IONIQ, a sub-brand that is gaining awards and recognition across the world. We want to introduce it to Mexico but we are still determining the best moment to do so. As the market transitions to electrification, the demand for hybrid models increases. Mexico is lagging behind in the adoption of EVs but the country will eventually reach the adoption levels of other mature markets. Globally, Hyundai is launching campaigns to attract more clients to its new green vehicles. 

Q: What strategies allowed Hyundai to become a Top 10 seller in the Mexican market?

A: In May 2022, we celebrated 8 years of operations in Mexico and our sales surpassed 300,000 units. This motivated us to continue proving our commitment to be the users’ preferred brand. Hyundai has introduced innovative products with technological features and an excellent cost-quality relation to the Mexican market.

In 2021 J.D. Power ranked Hyundai’s Creta, Elantra, Tucson and Grand i10 models as the vehicles with the highest quality and reliability in the Mexican market. We are convinced that our clients in Mexico understand the quality of our products. Additionally, we recently renewed some of our vehicles, such as the Grand i10, Elantra, Tucson,Santa Fe, and Creta. We also introduced the new Palisade to the market.

Q: What are Hyundai’s expectations for the Palisade?

A: The launching of the Palisade was a success, as it has a long waiting list. We are working to have more Palisade units available but, in the meanwhile, I want to thank clients for their patience.

Palisade is currently the flagship of the brand thanks to its versatility, comfort and design. We have high expectations for this product but, unfortunately, global shortages are slowing down production. We have sold 245 Palisade units since 2021 but this does not reflect the model’s potential. We believe we can sell more units and we are committed to doing so.

Q: How did Hyundai secure its inventory in 2021 despite supply shortages and logistics issues?

A: During 2021, Hyundai faced multiple challenges but also enjoyed many successes. We closed the year with a 3.7 percent market share, which represented over 37,000 units sold. We are monitoring the situation daily to optimize production and we are in constant communication with our plants and supply chains. We have learned that planning is key to thriving during this crisis. We expect that shortages will regularize in the coming months.

We like to be transparent with our clients. Owing to this and other reasons, J.D. Power ranked us second in sales and third in service in the Mexican market.

Q: How is Hyundai digitizing its sales processes?

A: Clients are changing the way they buy and 38 percent of our sales originate within our digital channels. In the future, our goal is to offer a completely digital buying experience. Meanwhile, we have worked closely with our network of distributors to help them digitize their process and encourage them to maintain the relationship with our clients through digital channels. Clients can get quotes and make payments through the digital payment methods offered by our distributors.

Q: What innovations are transforming Hyundai’s operations?

A: In Mexico, we offer the Hyundai Live experience to offer potential buyers an adviser in real time through our live chat. Additionally, distributors can show the vehicles virtually. We are connecting these tools with our client database to gain insight into the habits of each customer, generate a relationship built out of loyalty and start rewarding them.

Globally, Hyundai has strategic partnerships and investments for new technology. Hyundai is also developing an aerospace division and working in automation and electrification. Hyundai will succeed in transitioning toward smart mobility solutions.    

Q: What steps will Hyundai take toward further electrification in Mexico?

A: By 2030, electric and hybrid vehicles will achieve an 8-10 percent penetration in Mexico, as forecast by IHS Markit. Collaboration between the authorities and the automotive sector is necessary to boost electromobility.

Globally, Hyundai has competitive electric and hybrid models. The IONIQ 5 can be 80 percent charged in less than 18 minutes, which begins to solve some problems that have stopped clients from buying an electric model. Hyundai aims to bring several hybrid models to Mexico, to be followed by electric models. By 2045, Hyundai expects to achieve zero-carbon emissions. All automakers are working toward this same goal.

Q: What are Hyundai’s expectations in the SUV, compact and subcompact segments?

A: We expect to have a stable product supply and we want to be cautious regarding our sales expectations because prices are increasing amid shortages and inflation. We are about to launch hybrid vehicles and we are going to introduce new lines of sedan products to the market. We also want to strengthen our SUV segment. 

Q: What specific strategies implemented under your watch have led to an improvement within the organization?

A: During my first month in the company, I spent a lot of time talking with my team and getting to know them. It was difficult because we were working remotely, which is not the same as face-to-face conversations. Once I understood who they were and what they were trying to achieve, I set in motion a strategic plan to ask the team to pitch their own ideas. As a result, we selected a series of projects and implemented them. Six months later, we have increased sales and our company is becoming more profitable. We are making progress and the team is engaged.

 

Hyundai Motor is a South Korean OEM founded in 1967. The company started selling vehicles in Mexico in 2014 and is now among the 10 largest brands in the market, with a 3.7 percent market share in 2021

 

Photo by:   MBN
Sofía Garduño Sofía Garduño Journalist & Industry Analyst