EXCLUSIVE Hyundai to reduce combustion engine lineup and invest in electric vehicles – sources

PARIS / SEOUL, May 27 (Reuters) – Hyundai Motor Group to cut the number of combustion engine models in its lineup to free up resources for investing in electric vehicles (EVs), two people close to the automaker told Reuters South Korean.

The move will result in a 50% reduction in models powered by fossil fuels, one said, adding that the strategy was approved by senior management in March.

“This is an important commercial move, which first and foremost frees up R&D resources to focus on the rest: electric motors, batteries, fuel cells,” the person said, without giving a timetable for the plan.

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Although Hyundai did not specifically respond to a Reuters query about its combustion engine model plans, it said in an email on Thursday that it was accelerating the adoption of environmentally friendly vehicles such as the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and battery electric vehicles.

Hyundai added that it will try to improve the efficiency of its range of internal combustion engine vehicles in emerging markets.

The automaker added that it aims to gradually expand battery-electric vehicle offerings in key markets such as the United States, Europe and China, with the goal of full electrification by 2040.

The Hyundai Motor Group, which is home to Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) and Kia Corp (000270.KS) and Genesis, aims to sell around one million electric vehicles per year by 2025 to achieve a 10% share of the market. world of electric vehicles.

Faced with tightening CO2 emissions targets in Europe and China, all major automakers are accelerating their transition to electric vehicles.

The enormous cost of developing electric motors and increasing the range of car batteries has already led some to say that the days of investing in conventional motors are over.

The 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric is on display at the New York Auto Show in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York City, New York, United States, March 28, 2018. REUTERS / Brendan McDermid

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“Hyundai has stopped developing new powertrains for cars with internal combustion engines,” one of the people said.

The PSA Group said in November, shortly before merging with Fiat Chrysler to form Stellantis (STLA.MI), that it was no longer investing in combustion engines.

Daimler (DAIGn.DE) recently revamped its combustion engines and executives say the new generation will see it through the electrification process.

Some automakers have already announced their intention to switch to all-electric, Swedish Volvo, which is owned by Chinese Geely (GEELY.UL), saying it will do so by 2030. read more

Ford Motor Co (FN) says its range in Europe will be fully electric on the same date. Read more

For Hyundai, which, along with Kia, is one of the world’s top ten automotive groups, this decision is particularly important because it has one of the broadest ranges of engine and transmission technologies in the industry.

The group will finalize its strategy to switch to all electric models in the next six months, a source said.

In April, Hyundai announced that it would reduce the number of its gasoline models in China from 21 to 14 by 2025, while launching new electric models every year from 2022. read more

In February, the group said it was no longer in talks with Apple (AAPL.O) to develop an autonomous vehicle.

Sources familiar with the matter said there was strong internal opposition to the idea of ​​the group becoming a subcontractor to Apple. Read more

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Report by Gilles Guillaume in Paris and Heekyong Yang in Seoul, written by Nick Carey; Editing by Mark Potter and Himani Sarkar

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Kevin A. Perras