Currently, potential buyers of the Hyundai IONIQ Electric have to wait 4 to 5 months before delivery – in some markets even more. However, Hyundai wants to solve this problem and increase production by 50 % from 1.200 to 1.800 units per month at its plant in Ulsan, South Korea.
A representative for Hyundai Motor Company said that:
“As current amount of requests for IONIQ Electric is higher than our initial prediction, we are going to increase output of IONIQ Electric for South Korean market from 600 to 900 according to requests from South Korean Government and local government organizations and apply our plan in July at the earliest.”
Considering that half of the production is to supply the South Korean market, while the other half is destined for foreign markets, a total of 1.800 monthly units still seem low, especially since roughly only 900 are destined for Europe and USA combined.
Anyways, another production increase is already expected:
“Because we expect that demands for IONIQ Electric will continue to increase in the future, we are planning to increase an output of IONIQ Electric in South Korean market up to 2.000 per month”.
This means that the total production output will be 4.000 monthly units – considering that Hyundai keeps splitting it the same way. Leaving 2.000 units for Europe and the USA.
It’s curious that this production increase announcement came roughly at the same time as Business Korea reported that the Hyundai IONIQ production was being held up by battery shortage, which I find hard to believe, since the LG Chem battery cell production capacity in South Korea is huge.
The only “problem” I see is that Hyundai initially ordered not enough EV batteries (6.000 to 7.000) from LG Chem to produce the IONIQ Electric. They can easily solve this “problem” by ordering more batteries at a better kWh price… Increasing production seems to me a good problem to have/solve.
To finalize, a South Korean ME (Ministry of Environment) representative added the following:
“Private supply business will gain momentum as amount of supply of IONIQ will increase starting from second half of this year and as battery-electric vehicles such as ‘Soul EV’ and ‘SM3 Z.E.’ that have high competitive edge in price are released.”
Summing up, having to increase production is a good problem to solve and there isn’t a battery cell shortage in South Korea. On the other hand, legacy automakers have to figure out how to decrease production of their internal combustion engine (ICE) cars very soon. That seems to be a lot more problematic than ordering more batteries…