12 jan 21

Hyundai Update: Hydrogen and Apple?

As most global OEMs, Hyundai has not had a great 2020, but emphasizes that a 15.4% decrease (3.7 million sold in 2020) is not changing the pathway the company has defined for itself. Hyundai has reconfirmed its strategy in the “Strategy 2025”, adding an important third pillar to its roadmap: hydrogen.

A Unique Manufacturer

Hyundai is not a traditional fleet brand, but most buyers (professional and consumer) tend to forget the journey of the South-Korean OEM: Hyundai only started importing cars into Europe (Pony, 1978) and the US in 1986 (Excel, for sale at USD 4.995 at the time) and has steadily and continuously grown market share to achieve over 5% of the global market in 2019, to the detriment of the established OEMs.

It’s therefore a brand that car buyers can no longer ignore; strategies that are being put forward by the South-Korean deserve our attention.


Hyundai stated very early in the pandemic that the demand for digitization and sustainability would accelerate from 2020 onwards; it’s therefore not a surprise to see these elements come back in the Strategy 2025. A third pillar, hydrogen, completes the Strategy.

  • Pillar 1: “Smart Mobility Device,” contains the company’s EV strategy. Hyundai aims to sell well over half a million electrified vehicles by 2025
  • Pillar 2: “Smart Mobility Service” will add mobility platform services to Hyundai’s business lines
  • Pillar 3: “H2 Solutions” contains 2 elements; an accelerated development and production of fuel cell vehicles and commercialization of fuel cell technology

Other innovations

But Hyundai goes beyond what one could expect from an OEM. Here are some other initiatives worth mentioning:

  • Urban Air Mobility: so-called “air vehicles” for the transportation of people and cargo, aiming to reduce inner-city congestion, to be upscaled to city-to-city transport
  • Autonomous driving: as from 2022, Hyundai wants to offer level-3 autonomous with OTA (over the air) and FoD (Feature on Demand) updates. Further investments, such as Motional Inc. (JV between Hyundai and Aptiv) are to be expected.
  • A new brand, HTWO, focused on developing fuel cell technology and expanding the hydrogen ecosystem


Could Hyundai become Apple’s Foxconn for electric vehicles? Responding to the latest of many speculations, Hyundai’s kept itself to confirming that “we are receiving proposals for cooperation from various companies, but no decision has been made."

A Korean scenario would make sense, as it responds to the smart requirement of finding an Asian manufacturer with global reach and hi-tech aspirations, but there’s still no other argument in favor of Hyundai versus, for example, Volkswagen or Honda. As is the case with all Apple rumors, it’s of course bite-size material for clickbait, but Hyundai won’t complain about the 20% increase of the share value on Seoul’s stock exchange. To be continued.

Picture Credit: Shutterstock

Authored by: Yves Helven