Hyundai is aiming to sell the Ioniq as “a capable compact car that just happens to have a degree in eco-friendliness,” as described in a report by Automotive News.
Although the compact-car segment reduced by 5.2 percent in 2015, it is still doing strong with over 2.1 million cars sold in the US alone. This makes for almost a third of the whole car segment.
However, Hyundai’s plans also takes note of the difficulty in releasing a green-car series internationally when hybrid and EV sales have been dropping while cheap gasoline and new entries have ignited the crossover sales.
Back in 2016, sales in the alternative-fuel segment, which includes the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius and Ford C-Max, dropped by 19 percent to 242, 619 vehicles.
As a result, Hyundai feels that it’s better to place the Ioniq at a big segment that’s slowly dwindling rather than a small segment that’s falling fast.
“If we did our very best at conquesting the king — we’ll say the Prius — that’s not a lot of sales…So instead of focusing on a competitor, we’re looking at the 1.1 million people that came very close to buying [a green car] but then bought something else,” said Mike O’Brien, VP of product planning at Hyundai.
Well, it looks like Hyundai isn’t looking to steal buyers away from its direct rivals such as the Prius and Volt; instead, it aims for the mass market that isn’t too EV-focused.